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"Ham and eggs with fried potatoes, stacks of buttered toast and coffee——that was my first acquaintance with American food. It remains to this day my favorite American dish. I would pay dearly for a gulp-to-gulp moving picture of myself, seated in a New York restaurant, a hungry immigrant urchin to the core, trying to counterfeit nonchalance as I wolfed my culinary cares away." (From a 1948 essay by Angelo Pelligrini, excerpted in the new Choice Cuts: A Savory Selection of Food Writing from Around the World and Through-out History, edited by Mark Kurlansky.)