Are you a non-foodie history or rare book buff who wants to find a way to get excited about food? This website might be the thing…I almost like books more than food. However, this collection of historic American cookbooks has got me excited about trying out some historic recipes.
This post or page may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click a link and make a subsequent purchase we might get a small commission that helps to run this website. Not all of our posts contain such links; many don’t. However, some do and we put this disclaimer here to ensure that we disclose that if such links ever are added.
Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project is a project of Michigan State University libraries. They’ve compiled an online collection of 76 old cookbooks — some dating back to the 18th century — online. Each is browsable by PDF, and most PDFs are downloadable if you want to view them offline.
Of course, adapting old recipes can be challenging, and I found the archaic type in some of the books both fascinating and an impediment. In one book from 1798, my mind kept telling me that I was reading about how to fluff and roaft a Goflin with fweet herbs and fmothering a Fowl in Oyfters. Some of the measurements may have you perplexed as well.
But browsing this is a fascinating trip through American culinary history. One that took up — and will likely take up more of — my time. I have a beat-up old copy of the
Many of the books are delightful to look at as well, such as The Mary Frances cookbook — an illustrated cookbook from 1912, and most cookbooks in the collection are now in the public domain.mary_OBJ
Beware, this website is one that could distract you for hours before you even get around to trying any old recipes. I’d better get off it and go roaft a Goflin!
We are sorry that you found this post to be like a weak cup of decaf.
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?
Subscribe to our email list and get new posts delivered to your inbox. If you don't specify preferences, you'll be signed up for a weekly digest of new posts in all categories, as well as occasional promotional emails and surveys. However, if you would like to customize the frequency and type of content you receive, you can sign up here.