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Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project

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Cover image, Science in the Kitchen, 1893

This website features digital scans of 75 cookbooks published in the United States between 1798 and 1922, providing a unique window into 19th century social history, and especially the history of immigration and the introduction of new foods into "American" cuisine. Each book can be browsed by date, author, or interest (including military cooking, quantity cooking, regional cooking, and ethnic influences), is available in downloadable PDF format, and is accompanied by a brief annotation providing useful information about the book's author, intended audience, and place of publication. All recipes also can be searched by name and ingredient. A search for "turkey," for example, reveals it to be a common ingredient in chicken salad—because, as Carrie Shuman writes in her 1893 Favorite Dishes, "the Irishman would say, turkey makes the best chicken salad." To accompany these recipes, the website includes images and explanations of close to 100 kitchen items found in the cookbooks, such as a piggin (small wooden bucked used for dipping liquids), a firkin (water-tight barrel often used for pickling), and a jelly press (used for rendering lard or pressing fruit).