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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

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...more

Interesting look into early American cooking.

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 m...more

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

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

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!

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 col...more

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 fr...more

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.

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.

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