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American Cookery

Amelia Simmons

Book Overview: 

American Cookery, by Amelia Simmons, was the first known cookbook written by an American, published in 1796. Until this time, the cookbooks printed and used in what became the United States were British cookbooks, so the importance of this book is obvious to American culinary history, and more generally, to the history of America. The full title of this book was: American Cookery, or the art of dressing viands, fish, poultry, and vegetables, and the best modes of making pastes, puffs, pies, tarts, puddings, custards, and preserves, and all kinds of cakes, from the imperial plum to plain cake: Adapted to this country, and all grades of life. (Description from Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .tho' they will not last long after, and commonly more sticky and hard in the centre.

Carrots, are managed as it respects plowing and rich ground, similarly to Parsnips. The yellow are better than the orange or red; middling fiz'd, that is, a foot long and two inches thick at the top end, are better than over grown ones; they are cultivated best with onions, sowed very thin, and mixed with other seeds, while young or six weeks after sown, especially if with onions on true onion ground. They are good with veal cookery, rich in soups, excellent with hash, in May and June.

Garlicks, tho' used by the French, are better adapted to the uses of medicine than cookery.

Asparagus—The mode of cultivation belongs to gardening; your business is only to cut and dress, the largest is best, the growth of a day sufficient, six inches long, and cut just above the ground; many cut below the surface, under an idea of get. . . Read More

Community Reviews

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/p

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 tri

This is supposedly the very first American cookbook; previous to this most of our cookbooks were from England, or if you were adventurous, possibly some other country such as France or Italy. What makes this cookbook really interesting is the very American outlook. This is not a cookbook for the ric

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 mark

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

A very specialized interest in early American cookery is required to appreciate this book. Some of the recipes will astound or amuse you. Some are quite delicious.

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