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 March 16, 2009
“A stew boiled is a stew spoiled”

An old adage (dating to at least the 1820s) is:
“Turkey boiled is Turkey spoiled;
And Turkey roast is Turkey lost;
But Turkey braised is Turkey praised.”
By at least 1866, this became: “Meat boiled is meat spoiled.” By 1884, this became: “Stew boiled is stew spoiled.” The stew version is, perhaps, used most today.
Boiling destroys the vegetables (if there are any) along with the meat. Instructions were given to “simmer” instead.
Google Books
Essays Moral, Philosophical, and Stomachical on the Important Science of Good-Living
By Launcelot Sturgeon
Second Edition
London: G. and W. B. Whittaker
Pg. 155:
That “turkey boil’d
“Is turkey spoil’d
“And turkey roast
“Is turkey lost;—
“But, for turkey braised,
“The Lord be praised!”
Google Books
The Cook and Housewife’s Manual
The Third Edition
By Mrs. Margaret Dods
(By Christian Isobel Johnstone?—ed.)
Edinburgh: Olver and Boyd, and Bell and Bradfute
Pg. 298:
Braised turkey, or rather Dinde en daube, is now a very favourite dish, and, when old and dry in the flesh, braising is requisite for this bird, or which it has been somewhat irreverently sung—
“Turkey boiled is Turkey spoiled;
And Turkey roast is Turkey lost;
But for Turkey braised, the Lord be praised.”
Google Books
Murray’s Modern Cookery Book
Modern Domestic Cookery

By a Lady (Maria Eliza Ketelby Rundell—ed.)
London: John Murray
Pp. 195-196:
There is a quaint adage that says,—
“Turkey roast is turkey lost;
Turkey boiled is turkey spoiled;
But turkey braised is turkey praised.”
Google Books
Comfort for Small Incomes
By Mrs. Eliza Warren
London: Published at the Office of “The Ladies’ Treasury”
Pg. 89:
“Meat boiled is meat spoiled.”
Google Books
The Flynns of Flynnville
By Catherine Jane Hamilton
London: Ward, Lock, & Co.
Pg. 71:
I didn’t say boiled turkey, my dear madam, that I’m convinced of; boiled turkey is spoiled turkey.
Google Books
January 1880, The Home Visitor and District Companion, pg. 51:
Meat boiled is meat spoiled, unless simmered.
Google Books
The enquirer’s oracle: or, What to do and how to do it
By Enquirer
Published 1884
Pg. 52:
The truth is that a stew boiled is spoiled, stewing being inevitably a slow process always, when properly done, extending to many hours, or to a whole day,
Google Books
The young ladies’ treasure book.
A complete cyclopædia of practical instruction and direction for all indoor and outdoor occupations and amusements suitable to young ladies

By Young ladies
Published by Ward, Lock, 1884
Pg. 888:
“Stew boiled is stew spoiled,” 177
Google Books
Mrs. Beeton’s Cookery Book and Household Guide
By Isabella Mary Beeton
London: Ward, Lock, and Co.
1890 (Elibron Classics reprint, 2005)
Pg. 16 (Kitchen Maxims):
“A stew boiled is a stew spoiled.”
Google Books
Encyclopedaedie Medica
Edited by Chalmers Watson
Volume V
New York, NY: Longmans, Green & Co.
Pg. 459:
The old saying, “A stew boiled is a stew spoiled,” is a true one. If vegetables are to be added they are best put into the pot after the meat is half done. The flavours of the vegetables are lost with too continuous cooking. The more slowly the stew is cooked the better it is done.
Google BOoks
Domestic Economy in Theory and Practice
By Marion Greenwood Bidder and Florence Baddeley
Cambridge: The University Press
Pg. 296:
The water must boil, but not the stew.
N.B. “Stew boiled is Stew spoiled.”
28 June 1903, Decatur (IL) Herald, pg. 9, col. 7:
Kitchen Maxims.
Here are some of the favorite maxims of the good English housewife. They date back, probably, to the day when Alfred the Great let the bannocks burn:
“A stew boiled is a stew spoiled.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Monday, March 16, 2009 • Permalink

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