A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from July 12, 2004
Danish Pastry
"Danish Pastry" got its name, and fame, in New York City.

13 October 1914, Fresno (CA) Morning Republican, pg. 9 ad:
Danish Pastry
Our Danish Pastry is noted for an interesting variety of tit-bits. Better try some.

29 October 1916, Fresno (CA) Bee, pg. 8 ad:
Serve our Dainty French and Danish Pastries
To your friends; they're always appreciated and win favors wherever served.

9 August 1917, Oakland (CA) Tribune, pg. 6:

The horseshoes, crescents, varnished strawberries, marshmallow Ostermoors, and wholly delectable French pastry effects which have formed the piece de resistance of a perfect culinary mobilization, are to have a rival, in the form of Danish pastry (Illegible text -- ed.) the Danish variety look like Verdun after a battle.

The Danish confections are the product of L. C. Klitteng, globe-trotter, patisserie savant, and purveyor of goodies to the wedding of President Wilson in December, 1915, who is to-day introducing his products to local baking houses, and teaching local pastry cooks the method in an effort to create a taste for the Danish variety. he has touched Sweden, Finland, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, the West Indies and France in his world itinerary, and from Oakland will go to Honolulu and the Orient.

There is a difference between the Danish pastry and the French. The French pastry is eaten daintily and slowly, allowing each new discovery to sink in, and the flavors to blend one by one, until the effect of the whole is an Arabian dream of gastronomic thoughts. But with the Danish pastry -- you just tuck a small morsel under the tongue, roll up the eyes, say "Ah-h" as though there were a sky-rocket present, and it fades away and trickles down to the carbed-wire entanglements of the soul, a subtle something that clings like an opium eater's dream.

In other words, Danish pastry is said to be good eating.

9 February 1919, Galveston (TX) Daily News, pg. 5 ad:
This is to announce to the public of Galveston
that we have engaged the world-famed baker
Of Isle of Laesoe, Denmark.
To Introduce the Celebrated Danish pastry
in Our Bakery from Saturday, Feb. 8

Fresh From the Oven at 11 a. m. and 4 p. m. Today

Mr. Kliteng made and served
this kind of Danish Pastry for
President Wilson's wedding in
Washington, Dec. 1915, and
since that time has introduced
same all over from New York
to San Francisco.

We cordially invited you to try out this
most excellent of all kinds of cakes for
your coffee and tea.

Schaefer's Bakery
2102 Market St.

5 March 1919, Galveston (TX) Daily News, pg. 7 ad:
Have Your Tried the Celebrated
The popularity of Danish Pastry is growing.
Schaefer's Bakery and Delicatessen

26 September 1919, Atlanta (GA) Constitution, "Bits of New York Life" by O. O. McIntyre, pg. 8:
Another Danish pastry shop.

27 September 1919, Atlanta (GA) Constitution, "Bits of New York Life" by O. O. McIntyre, pg. 8:
Meredith Nicholson, the Indiana novelist, was lunching with Ray Long, editor of the Cosmopolitan, in one of those flossy Danish pastry places that suddenly bloomed in the Forties the other day.

2 December 1919, New York (NY) Times, pg. 4:
The complaint further alleges that at present there are restaurants, masking as French and Danish pastry shops, which will in a very short time be selling liquors.

July 1920, National Baker. pg. 5 full-page advertisement:
Danish Pastry

The Last Word in Fancy Cakes for the Coming Winter Season
Learn It Now -- and Learn It Right

THE name of L. C. Klitteng is known all over the United States in combination with his work as instructor in making Danish Pastry. It will therefore, we suppose, be of great interest to see and read some of the endorsements which Mr. Klitteng has received from prominent men of the trade, testifying to the success of his methods and how his Danish Pastry has brought large profits.

What They Say
Below will be found extracts of letters from those who have tried Danish Pastry as a commercial product. These are but a few of the many testimonials on file in our office:
John Seybold of Miami writes: "I engaged Mr. L. C. Klitteng, consulting baker of the Isle of Laesoe, Denmark...

July 1920, National Baker, pg. 12, col. 1:
School for Danish Pastry.

L. C. KLITTENG, the authority on Danish Pastry, which he originated in the United States, and which has become so deservedly popular wherever introduced, announces that he has established his Danish Culinary Studio at No. 146 Fifth Avenue, New York City, and that students will be thoroughly
instructed in this art of producing high grade pastry, either by practical demonstration or through a correspondence course.

Mr. Klitteng has introduced Danish Pastry in many countries and in
numerous cities in this country, and has many convincing testimonials as to the large sales and profits made by those who have made known this delicious pastry to their local trade.

As it is not possible for Mr. Klitteng to personally visit each baker who is interested in producing Danish Pastry, he decided to establish a school where he could give practical instruction in a course covering fourteen days.
See the announcement on another page and write for booklet and full particulars.

August 1920, National Baker, pg. 56, col. 1:
(Two column photo of: DANISH PASTRY, MADE AFTER RECIPE BY L. C. KLITTENG, ISLE OF LESO, DENMARK. Caption: Bakery Salesroom of John Seybold, Miami, Florida, With Display of Danish Pastry, as Arranged by L. C. Klitteng. -- ed.)

Danish Culinary Studio

THE Danish Culinary Studio has received inquiries from all over the United States, Main (sic) to California, inclusive, from both men and women, master bakers and employees--even as far away as the British West Indies the inquiries come. An entirely new class of people being attracted by the superior qualities of Danish Pastry are the heads of the Department of Economics and lecturers on scientific food preparation of the great
universities and other institutions maintaining similar departments.
Attention is called to "KLITTENG'S SUCCESS BOOK," now in preparation, in which is revealed for the first time some of the secrets of the phenomenal rise of L. C. Klitteng to the position of the world's highest paid baker. Every man, whether a baker or not, will find inspiration in reading this exposition of the laws of success as applied by the man who is one of the most unique and interesting characters in "the world of dough," and who has
met and conquered many difficulties--and hopes to meet and conquer many more.

24 April 1920, Bakers Weekly, pg. 17 full page ad:

Instruction begins June 1st, and the 14-day course covers 100 hours. It's at the Danish Culinary Studio, 146 5th Ave, New York.

1 May 1920, Bakers' Helper, pg. 885, col. 1:
Danish Pastry Dough
(Recipe by Paul Richards -- ed.)

15 May 1920, Bakers' Helper, pg. 978, col. 2 headline:

1 June 1920, Bakers' Helper, pg. 1029 full page ad:
Opens July 1st
(Full photo of him in chef's garb -- ed.)

1 June 1920, Bakers' Helper, pg. 1090, col. 1:
The Danish Culinary Studio, 146 Fifth avenue, New York City, is scheduled to open July 1st, and applicants are being enrolled for the first course. The school has been founded by L. C. Klitteng, who came to this country from Denmark in December, 1915, and has been responsible for most of the popularity which Danish pastry has acquired here. Shortly after his arrival he made his choice dainties for the President's wedding. (That would be Woodrow Wilson-ed.) His next association was with Gertner's in New York City, where he instructed the bakers fully in this line. In his extensive travels since, covering (col. 2--ed.) thirty states, he has baked in most of the leading cities, in some of the best bakeries and pastry shops. In the wake of his success sprang up many imitations to meet the new demand, and inferior goods were put upon the market and sold at the prices which the genuine products properly command.

26 February 1926, The Restaurateur, pg. 2 full page ad:
Profits from DENMARK!
opens up to you a new field for profitable sales
(CRISCO by Procter & Gamble. This ad ran weekly for a very long time -- ed.)

13 March 1926, The Restaurateur, pg. 11, col. 1:
Procter & Gamble Company Through
Experiments Tell How To Make A
Better Danish Pastry

7 April 1927, The Restaurateur, pg. 8, col. 1:
Introduced Danish Pastry to New York
Herman Gertner Is the Man Who More Than Any Other
Is Responsible for the Great Vogue of Pastry in America
The genesis of his growth is that "every man deserves a chance." This led to his discovery of the chef who introduced Mr. Gertner to Danish pastry and which led to Gertner's introducing Danish pastry to Broadway, New York, and permanent stock engagements in the West.

30 April 1946, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, pg. 26, col. 6:
Frozen Danish Pastry Dough Aids Home Cooks

Take From Refrigerator,
Then Thaw and Bake Are
Simple Rules for a Treat
By Clementine Paddleford

The first Danish pastry to win name and fame in New York City back in the 1890's has gone ultra modern and sells in frozen dough form, ready for the home oven.

Two products in the line, one the individual pastries mentioned a few weeks ago, the other a twist that's new as this week, called "Almond Delight." Both items are made of the same basic dough formula, the one Herman Gertner bought from Lane L. M. Kleiting back at the turn of the century.

This Kleiting fellow blew into the Gertner's restaurant one autumn day, recipe in hand and offered it for sale with a long list of fancy fillings. He stayed around long enough to teach the pastry chef the way of its making and how to turn it out in sticks, envelopes, turnovers, twists. Four months after the Danish breads went on the menu they were the talk of the town. The smart thing after the theater was to drop into Gertner's at 1440 Broadway for coffie and pastries.

Herman Gertner had been manager of the old Astor before he branched out for himself in 1890, opening his first little restaurant on lower Broadway, then the restaurant uptown, then a third at 711 Seventh Avenue. A restaurant chain was his plan; Danish pastries changed his mind. He decided to hire extra bakers and sell the breads wholesale. His sweetbread business went soaring until 1939, when Herman retired and returned his famous recipe to the safe box at the bank.

(Surely Lane L. M. Kleiting must be L. C. Klitteng. I copied from Klitteng's ads in baking periodicals, so that's probably right-ed.)

September 1949, Hearst's International Combined with Cosmopolitan (New York, NY), "Gimme a 51 and a Parlez-Vous," pg. 82, col. 3:
Here's a list which may help you solve some of the mystic language which is shouted behind the soda fountain:
31. BOW TIE Danish pastry)

23 January 1962, Mew York (NY) Times, pg. 33, col. 4:
Retired Owner of Chain on
Broadway Dies at 90
Herman Gertner, a well-known Broadway restaurateur a generation ago, died yesterday at his home, 185 Riverside Drive. He was 90 years old.

Mr. Gertner has often been given credit for introducing Danish pastry to New York, and one of his bus boys was Leo Lindy, who later became famous for his own establishment, Lindy's.

At one time, Mr. Gertner had five resaurants operating along Broadway, between Thirty-eighth and Ninety-seventh Streets.
He started in the restaurant business on the lower East Side in 1903 or 1904, his relatives recall, then opened a restaurant in the Broadway Central Hotel before moving uptown.

At one point during his career Mr. Gertner befriended a Danish baker who convinced him that Danish pastry might be well received in New York. Mr. Gertner began serving the pastry in his restaurant and it immediately was a success.

Mr. Lindy, who started as a bus boy and later was promoted to waiter, married Mr. Gertner's sister. Mr. Gertner later made Mr. Lindy a manager of one of his Broadway spots. He retired from the business a quarter of a century ago.

He is survived by his widow, the former Frieda Engel; a son, Philip, of New York; a sister, Mrs. Regina Abend of New York, and a grandchild.
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Monday, July 12, 2004 • Permalink

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