Our fascination with cookbooks is practically unlimited. Famous chefs make millions from their beautifully illustrated cookbooks, many of which are only used for fantasies. Simple classics such as Better Homes & Gardens, Betty Crocker, and Pillsbury will never go out of style. When a young woman or waitress did not undergo any culinary training during her youth, she faced a daunting period of trial and error when she was forced to work with a new husband and a growing family before the 19th century. Had he read he might have found some stained and worn pages to relate to, but that was all.
The first cookbooks were only for the rich (especially the kings) and most of the staff in the castle kitchen couldn’t read. Of course, early cookbooks proved somewhat overwhelming for the middle farmer’s wife, like King Richard II’s master cook form by Cury (14th century). It seems the portions were a bit overwhelming and a meal might require you to spend a full year grocery budget on the average farmer. In Germany and England, many of the books were written by women who realized what was needed in families with fewer or no servants and understood what made it possible to simplify dishes with cheaper ingredients.
For simple, gullible cookbooks, here are a few highlights, many of which are still published today:
The Art of Cooking, Made Flat and Made Simple (1747) by Hannah Glasse had been the best-selling English cookbook for more than a century and had a major impact on early American cuisine. A copy of the book could be found in Martha Washington’s Mount Vernon kitchen.
Martha Bradley wrote The British Housewife in 1756, taking recipes from previous books but modifying them in her own style.
Fifteen-cent dinners for working-class families were published in New York in the late 1870s, and at the same time there were similar books across Europe that were slightly more practical for the average worker. Presumably the poor man’s creative way of preparing potatoes and beets gave way to fresh meat and vegetables (sausages, macaroni and cheese were still pending);
Amelia Simmons’ American Cookery (1796), one of the first cookbooks printed in the United States, had a significant impact on American colonists after the Revolutionary War.
Mary Randolph’s The Virginia Housewife (1824) is still considered one of the best for authentic Mediterranean cuisine, including grilled pork recipes, okra soup, and many other traditional southern recipes (her brother was married to the daughter of the former. The avid President Thomas Jefferson, it didn’t hurt);
Lydia Marie Child’s thrifty housewife (1829), small, but popular with pioneers and light travelers as she emphasized affordable and readily available groceries (after all, there were no supermarkets on the border)
Indications for the Kitchen by Eliza Leslie, in its various branches (1837) author of several volumes in the nineteenth century, her culinary fame began in 1828 with the publication of seventy-five receipts for pastries, cakes and sweets, a true Bible for food lovers. with feasting; Most of the inspiration came from Mrs. Goodfellow’s Cooking School, a famous Philadelphia baker.
The Confederate Receipt Book: A collection of over a hundred receipts that were adjusted during the Civil War (1863) when sea blockades prevented much of food from reaching the south, where cotton and tobacco cultivation was far more common than food .
Charles Ranhofer’s The Epicurean (1894) Delmonicos Restaurant in New York City epitomized late Victorian cuisine for over a century, hosting dinners for presidents like Ulysses S. Grant and writers like Charles Dickens. Known for their unique and sophisticated presentations, the most elaborate dishes were prepared under the masterful eye of chef Charles Ranhofer. This huge, heavily illustrated volume contains mostly classic French recipes.
Fannie Merritt Farmer’s Cookbook of the Boston Cookery School (1896), and thanks to her we have detailed step-by-step instructions for the cookbook with standardized measurements for ingredients;
Rufus Estes ‘Good Things To Eat (1911), his cookbook, preceded the first by an African American, namely Robert Roberts’ The House Servant’s Directory of 1827, which contained recipes from wealthy New England families he was used to working on ;
Joy of Cooking (1931) by Irma Rombauer, one of the best-selling cookbooks in American publishing history. Joy of Cooking was originally published by Mrs. Rombaue herself and kept her busy after the death of her husband, but with her unexpected initial success. he entered. in a contract with a publisher;
Reference books and cooks who have made significant contributions over the past sixty or seventy years include:
Ruth Graves Wakefield, restaurant owner and creator of the original Toll House biscuit, was a famous cookbook author in the 1930s.
Although Alice B. Toklas was best known for her marijuana brownies, she was actually a skilled cook, and her mid-20th century cookbook made a big impression on future chefs. Julia Child’s cookbooks transformed America’s most conservative basic cuisine.
Georges Auguste Escoffier, one of the greatest cookbooks of all time, a revered French chef and considered the father of good French cuisine, published Le Guide Culinaire in the early 20th century.
That’s it. A short walk into the past with those pioneers who put the art of cooking on the menu and still give gourmet goose bumps.