Hot Best Seller

The First American Cookbook: A Facsimile of "American Cookery," 1796

Availability: Ready to download

This facsimile of the first American-written cookbook published in the United States is not only a first in cookbook literature, but a historic document. It reveals the rich variety of food Colonial Americans enjoyed, their tastes, cooking and eating habits, even their colorful language. Author Amelia Simmons worked as a domestic in Colonial America and gathered her cookery This facsimile of the first American-written cookbook published in the United States is not only a first in cookbook literature, but a historic document. It reveals the rich variety of food Colonial Americans enjoyed, their tastes, cooking and eating habits, even their colorful language. Author Amelia Simmons worked as a domestic in Colonial America and gathered her cookery expertise from firsthand experience. Her book points out the best ways of judging the quality of meats, poultry, fish, vegetables, etc., and presents the best methods of preparing and cooking them. In choosing fish, poultry, and other meats, the author wisely advises, "their smell denotes their goodness." Her sound suggestions for choosing the freshest and most tender onions, potatoes, parsnips, carrots, asparagus, lettuce, cabbage, beans, and other vegetables are as timely today as they were nearly 200 years ago. Here are the first uniquely American recipes using corn meal — Indian pudding, "Johnny cake," and Indian slapjacks — as well as the first recipes for pumpkin pudding, winter squash pudding, and for brewing spruce beer. The words "cookie" and "slaw" made their first published appearance in this book. You'll also find the first recommended use of pearlash (the forerunner of baking powder) to lighten dough, as well as recommendations for seasoning stuffing and roasting beef, mutton, veal, and lamb — even how to dress a turtle. Along with authentic recipes for colonial favorites, a Glossary includes definitions of antiquated cooking terms: pannikin, wallop, frumenty, emptins, and more. And Mary Tolford Wilson's informative Introductory Essay provides the culinary historical background needed to appreciate this important book fully. Anyone who uses and collects cookbooks will want to have The First American Cookbook. Cultural historians, Americana buffs, and gourmets will find this rare edition filled with interesting recipes and rich in early American flavor.


Compare

This facsimile of the first American-written cookbook published in the United States is not only a first in cookbook literature, but a historic document. It reveals the rich variety of food Colonial Americans enjoyed, their tastes, cooking and eating habits, even their colorful language. Author Amelia Simmons worked as a domestic in Colonial America and gathered her cookery This facsimile of the first American-written cookbook published in the United States is not only a first in cookbook literature, but a historic document. It reveals the rich variety of food Colonial Americans enjoyed, their tastes, cooking and eating habits, even their colorful language. Author Amelia Simmons worked as a domestic in Colonial America and gathered her cookery expertise from firsthand experience. Her book points out the best ways of judging the quality of meats, poultry, fish, vegetables, etc., and presents the best methods of preparing and cooking them. In choosing fish, poultry, and other meats, the author wisely advises, "their smell denotes their goodness." Her sound suggestions for choosing the freshest and most tender onions, potatoes, parsnips, carrots, asparagus, lettuce, cabbage, beans, and other vegetables are as timely today as they were nearly 200 years ago. Here are the first uniquely American recipes using corn meal — Indian pudding, "Johnny cake," and Indian slapjacks — as well as the first recipes for pumpkin pudding, winter squash pudding, and for brewing spruce beer. The words "cookie" and "slaw" made their first published appearance in this book. You'll also find the first recommended use of pearlash (the forerunner of baking powder) to lighten dough, as well as recommendations for seasoning stuffing and roasting beef, mutton, veal, and lamb — even how to dress a turtle. Along with authentic recipes for colonial favorites, a Glossary includes definitions of antiquated cooking terms: pannikin, wallop, frumenty, emptins, and more. And Mary Tolford Wilson's informative Introductory Essay provides the culinary historical background needed to appreciate this important book fully. Anyone who uses and collects cookbooks will want to have The First American Cookbook. Cultural historians, Americana buffs, and gourmets will find this rare edition filled with interesting recipes and rich in early American flavor.

30 review for The First American Cookbook: A Facsimile of "American Cookery," 1796

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Took a while to get used to reading with the s’s looking like f in the middle of words. But it’s really cool to read and learn what they would have eaten in the 1700’s. I made mince pie for the first time, using this recipe. You can’t get more authentic than that!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alisa Hedden

    This is a beautiful reproduction of the first ever American cookbook, with recipes using ingredients unique to America. While the recipes contained in this book are not what would be normally produced in a modern American kitchen, they provide a valuable insight into the changes of the home and marketplace. But one thing has not changed, as Amelia states: “and the best cook cannot alter the first quality, they must be good, or the cook will be disappointed.” Or, in modern American, always get This is a beautiful reproduction of the first ever American cookbook, with recipes using ingredients unique to America. While the recipes contained in this book are not what would be normally produced in a modern American kitchen, they provide a valuable insight into the changes of the home and marketplace. But one thing has not changed, as Amelia states: “and the best cook cannot alter the first quality, they must be good, or the cook will be disappointed.” Or, in modern American, always get the best, freshest ingredients you can obtain, for the best end results. Some of the most fascinating pieces that I, personally, found in this book are the descriptions of how some tradesmen would try to trick the shopper into purchasing a poor quality product. For example, “deceits are used to give the (fish) a freshness of appearance, such as peppering the gills, wetting the fins and tails, and even painting the gills, or wetting with animal blood”. While the original book was only 47 pages and the reprint which translates the original in modern English is a slim 100 pages, there is a lot of very good information and a few things I would like to try. Luckily I do know where to get food grade rosewater (a good organic or health food store can help you out). Originally published in 1796, this volume is a treasure sure to be valued to be treasured by anyone that enjoys history, cooking or food. With its red cover, gilt edges and red ribbon page marker, this book is definitely nice enough to give as a present. © Night Owl Reviews - http://www.NightOwlReviews.com

  3. 4 out of 5

    Vaishali

    Written in 1796 by an orphan, this is a rather fascinating peek into American fare in the colonial era. I was floored to discover that rosewater - now an exotic ingredient only found in Indian and middle-eastern marts - was commonly used then. Some fruit no longer in vogue: quinces (from the apple/pear family), damsons (a plum type), and barberries (now used mostly in Irani cuisine).

  4. 5 out of 5

    James Violand

    I love to cook. I love to eat. No, no, I'm not fat - it's genetic with me. Anyway, this book is a reprint of one from the late 1700s. I've learned a lot from this work but mostly how good a roast becomes when you dust it with flour. That's the only way I do any roast from now on. Other than that trick, we've pretty much adapted the techniques and recipes in this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    I love my Dover thrift editions. This is a reprint of the first cookbook published in the United States by an American author. The introduction to the book is extremely well done and establishes the significance of the book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Interesting look into early American cooking.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    The first cookbook written by an American, using American foods, and published in America.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I am going to need some serious luck with trying to reproduce these recipes.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    The fact that this is a "facsimile of the first American-written cookbook published in the United States is not only a first in cookbook literature, but a historic document" says it all. It's a small little booklet, but quite insightful, and I'd recommend it to anyone especially those who are collectors of cookbooks and like the looks of having antique items around the kitchen. I originally found interest in this cookbooks through watching Townsends on YouTube And this particular copy features a The fact that this is a "facsimile of the first American-written cookbook published in the United States is not only a first in cookbook literature, but a historic document" says it all. It's a small little booklet, but quite insightful, and I'd recommend it to anyone especially those who are collectors of cookbooks and like the looks of having antique items around the kitchen. I originally found interest in this cookbooks through watching Townsends on YouTube And this particular copy features a hand stitched spine and printing on laid paper, a neat touch, really adding to the character consistent with the time frame in which it was initially published in. The content of this cookbook was incredibly interesting and insightful. The measurements for the recipes were often in large quantity and some don't appear to be in quite in perfect ratio for the end dish they were trying to achieve, but I did make a version of the apple cake which turned out to be delicious. There are also references to meat and vegetable preparation as well as preservation methods. All in all a cute little glimpse into 18th century cooking!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I'm not too certain about its value as a cookbook for today, but I thought this was a cool little historical document with a very informative introductory essay on the text's importance. The front part of the book is devoted to advice on selecting food items ranging from livestock, to fish, to fruits and vegetables. The second part of the book contains the recipes, or receipts as the book terms them. The recipes lack the precision of instructions, but I think it could be fun to pick out one that I'm not too certain about its value as a cookbook for today, but I thought this was a cool little historical document with a very informative introductory essay on the text's importance. The front part of the book is devoted to advice on selecting food items ranging from livestock, to fish, to fruits and vegetables. The second part of the book contains the recipes, or receipts as the book terms them. The recipes lack the precision of instructions, but I think it could be fun to pick out one that appeals to you and give it a try. Overall, a cool little book and I give it 4 stars.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Bookman

    Very cool. The introductory essay was great context and the historical authenticity of including even the mistakes is neat. I just wish there was a third section that included enough "updated" info that I could actually try some of the recipes.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn Goldman

    I wish we knew more about Amelia than what is written on her pages. There are true gems that make me wonder if she intended her words to come off the way they do in this modern day. If so, she was an early feminist (see The Queen of All Birds... the Pea Hen)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Gipe

    Great Book I love the old methods to put together the ingredients for each recipe. Tested many of the recipe over a open hearth fire and they are spot on.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    I am not a fan of the organization/layout

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Harless

    Bad The kindle version has a letter f where the letter should be an s. It makes it annoying to read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Teri L.

    The first book by an American author on cooking with ingredients found in America. Interesting to read - once you get accustomed the original typeface that uses "f's" for "s's." A glossary in the back defines terms that are no longer in use: syllabub, emptines, bullace, for example. Even then it was known that "the best cook cannot alter the first quality {of ROOTS and VEGETABLES}, they must be good, or the cook will be disappointed." A surprising number of dishes were created using very few The first book by an American author on cooking with ingredients found in America. Interesting to read - once you get accustomed the original typeface that uses "f's" for "s's." A glossary in the back defines terms that are no longer in use: syllabub, emptines, bullace, for example. Even then it was known that "the best cook cannot alter the first quality {of ROOTS and VEGETABLES}, they must be good, or the cook will be disappointed." A surprising number of dishes were created using very few ingredients cooked on a primitive stove and oven. Puddings, Johnny cakes, cookies, pies. It was assumed that cooks understand basic techniques, and recipes generally only lists of ingredients and cooking time. It would be fun to try to make some of them!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jean Roberts

    This is a great old, just post American Revolution, cookbook. You'll be surprised by the variety of foods they ate. While exact recipes are few, it is a fun read and a good way to delve into the 18th century kitchen.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Heather dennis

    As with any old book there are random moments of unintentional hilarity. Some of my favorite parts: "How to choose fish: salmon, the noblest and richest fish taken in fresh water-- the largest are the best. They are unlike almost every other fish, are ameliorated by being 3-4 days out of water, if kept from heat and the moon, which has more injurious effect than the sun." I have so many questions, namely what device did they think would protect dead fish from the forces of gravity. How can you As with any old book there are random moments of unintentional hilarity. Some of my favorite parts: "How to choose fish: salmon, the noblest and richest fish taken in fresh water-- the largest are the best. They are unlike almost every other fish, are ameliorated by being 3-4 days out of water, if kept from heat and the moon, which has more injurious effect than the sun." I have so many questions, namely what device did they think would protect dead fish from the forces of gravity. How can you tell if your fish has been tainted by moon? It fascinates me to no end because I love reading about stuff like this. "Diet bread: one pound sugar, 9 eggs, beat for an hour, add 14 ounces of flour, spoonful rose water, cinnamon or coriander, bake quick." I love how it is "diet" but contains more sugar than flour. As far as the recipes go: It has several good and very simple recipes in it. I may have to try several of the pies and puddings.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    This is a book after my own heart...where my love of cooking, history, and reading intersect. This is a facsimile of the first cookbook published in America by an America using American goods. I look forwards to trying to reproduce some of these recipes (they are not written very much like a recipe today and a lot is done by appearance). Reading the book, I have learned how to prepare/butcher a turtle and have also learned that, while French people use garlic, it is best reserved for medicine! This is a book after my own heart...where my love of cooking, history, and reading intersect. This is a facsimile of the first cookbook published in America by an America using American goods. I look forwards to trying to reproduce some of these recipes (they are not written very much like a recipe today and a lot is done by appearance). Reading the book, I have learned how to prepare/butcher a turtle and have also learned that, while French people use garlic, it is best reserved for medicine! Wonderful!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Natashya KitchenPuppies

    A chance for modern day cooks to discover the first published American cookbook. Facsimile of the original pages on the right hand side, with some interpretation on the left. Fascinating look into the past. I'm not going to give it a star rating because you can't compare it to modern glossy cookbooks. See my post here - http://livinginthekitchenwithpuppies....

  21. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    I was a bit disappointed as I hoped to find recipes that were not full of sugar. Even in 1796 the recipes were full of sugar. Perhaps it is because the recipes are from the United States, where slaves were growing sugar and it was readily available. One never knows.... Nevertheless, the recipes are interesting and some look quite good. We make things differently today.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    Just an interesting glimpse into the world of cooking in the U.S. a bit over 200 years ago. Generally acknowledged as America's first published cookbook, it's a guide for unmarried women who find themselves needing to take work as domestic help in the homes of the wealthy and covers how to select meats and produce and how to prepare them properly for the tastes of the day.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    A peek at the 18th century American table. Notable for its clear, individual voice (no editor smoothed out the particulars of this woman's speech), liberal application of meat and sugar (God bless America), and strong anti-garlic position. The latter, considering the chutzpah it took for a woman to publish in this time, is forgiven.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I loved the introduction the best. The recipes are hard to follow because of the way they described them then, but definitely possible to replicate. Which I will be doing. It's free on Amazon--so I recommend that everyone read the introduction if they enjoy cooking. I love her commentary on rabbits and garlic.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    I read the copy with commentary from Mary Tolford Wilson; figured this would be the closest to the reproduction that I have. Good to read the commentary first; lots of interesting stuff here on how to cook from the first cookbook written and printed in America.....by a woman.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ange

    A Christmas gift from Barron. More fun to read than use.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mckinley

    Interesting to read while there are descriptive recipes, it's more about what people ate and how they cooked it up. I'm not sure I could follow the directions all that successfully.

  28. 4 out of 5

    June

    Yay, primary source!

  29. 4 out of 5

    David M. Baldrini

    Very interesting I've always had an interest in old time recipes and I like trying them Now I have to try and decipher them

  30. 4 out of 5

    len Buckley

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.