What is Hangtown Fry?

A semi-regular, free newsletter produced by Culinary Historians of Northern California (CHNorCal), on the interconnectedness of food, drink, and culture throughout human history. In the culinary canon, “Hangtown Fry” is a luxurious omelet of breaded oysters and bacon, made popular by the forty-niners of the Gold Rush. No other historical dish evokes a stronger association to Northern California. According to What’s Cooking America, this legendary dish is, quite possibly, California’s first cuisine.

Why Subscribe?

We feature multidisciplinary writing, visual essays, art, photography, and dialogue that promote, contextualize, and advance the study of food and drink in human history. This includes, but is by no means limited to, the foodways and culinary history of the state of California. CHNorCal champions diverse voices and celebrates global and hyperlocal perspectives.

We pay competitive rates and honorariums to all contributors and diligently collaborate with rights holders to secure proper permissions to all works featured here. In cases where contributors wish to waive compensation, CHNorCal will apply their fees toward either a charitable organization of the contributor’s choice or purchases of the contributor’s works for free distribution to the public.

Is there a charge for subscribing?

Nope, never. In keeping with its mission, CHNorCal makes all editions of Hangtown Fry freely available to the public, without charge.

Plagiarists, Beware

The Chicago Manual of Style’s tagline says it best: “Find it. Write it. Cite it.” Readers wishing to incorporate Hangtown Fry articles in their own work should properly attribute the authors and artists featured, with full citations. Here is but one example:

Lastname, Firstname. “Title of Article.” Hangtown Fry, Culinary Historians of Northern California, Day Month Year, Page(s). hangtownfry.substack.com.

Stay up-to-date

Subscribe to this newsletter and you won’t have to worry about missing future posts or messages from CHNorCal. Every new edition of the newsletter goes directly to your inbox. For general inquiries, feel free to drop us a line at <hello@chnorcal.org>.

Subscribe to Hangtown Fry

A free newsletter on the study of food and drink in human history, by Culinary Historians of Northern California, SPC.


Founded in 2004, we are a social purpose corporation that actively promotes and advances the study of food and drink in human history.
Design consultant & comics creator. Professor at California College of the Arts (Comics BFA/MFA programs). M.A., Food Studies. From Seattle, living in SF.