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Photo: Clare Barboza
Hangtown fry was invented during the 1850s Gold Rush in Placerville, California, then known as Hangtown. Legend has it that a rich gold prospector coined the name when he demanded the most expensive dish at a local hotel. In those days, the costliest ingredients were bacon (from the East Coast), eggs (likely cormorant eggs delicately brought in from off the coast of San Francisco) and oysters (brought on ice or in saltwater barrels from the city).

Hangtown fry was invented during the 1850s Gold Rush in Placerville, California, then known as Hangtown. Legend has it that a rich gold prospector coined the name when he demanded the most expensive dish at a local hotel. In those days, the costliest ingredients were bacon (from the East Coast), eggs (likely cormorant eggs delicately brought in from off the coast of San Francisco) and oysters (brought on ice or in saltwater barrels from the city). I’ve nicknamed this historically famous dish “Hangover Fry” because, well, it does the job — let’s just leave it at that.