18th Century Cookbooks

Mrs. Robb, one of the main characters of my current work in progress, is an excellent cook. She was taught to cook and bake by the daughter of a French Huguenot refugee in Boston who had been a pastry chef in Lyons. Her cooking is a blend of French, British, and American, with a preference for anything involving pastry.

Of course, cooking has evolved over time. While I always do a quick internet search to check the history of any particular dish before including it in my story, it’s often easier to pick dishes from period cookbooks. The two I find myself returning to again and again are American Cookery by Amelia Simmons and The Modern Cook by Vincent La Chapelle.

And thanks to the wonders of Google Books, facsimiles of these books are not only available online for free, but also searchable. If historical cooking interests you, check them out!

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