Oldest and Most Recognized Cookbooks

A partial list of the top social cookbooks out there.
Toni Leland
March/April 2009
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Gathering Recipes From Social Cookbooks 

1742: The Compleat Housewife, a British cookbook used extensively in Colonial America, but edited to exclude recipes with unavailable ingredients.

1772: The Frugal Housewife, Susannah Carter. An English-cookery based book that excluded American ingredients.

1805: The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, Hannah Glasse. A cookbook originating in England; it was most popular in 1776, and the American version was published in 1805.

1824: The Virginia Housewife, Mary Randolph. Another English cookery-based book.

1827: The House Servant’s Directory, Robert Roberts. One of the first books published by an African American. Sparse cooking information, but a unique insight into the work ethic of early America’s domestics.

1832: The American Frugal Housewife, Lydia Maria Child. This was a “must” for brides of the mid-1800s.

1839: The Kentucky Housewife, Lettice Bryan. Native American, European and African recipes for cooking in a hot climate.

1847: The American Family Receipt Book, H. Phelps, Pub. This is a collection of 500 recipes with a native approach to food, plus information on such things as reviving tainted meat, ridding the house of rats, and how to jump out of a wagon.

1851: Miss Leslie’s Directions for Cookery, Eliza Leslie. One of the most influential cookbooks of the 19th century.

1854: The American Home Cook Book, an American Lady. Includes carving instructions and illustrations of cooking equipment.

1858: Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt-Book, Catharine E. Beecher. Aimed at the average homemaker, with information to make work easier and more economical.

1861: A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes, Charles Elme Francatelli. More than 240 recipes devised by the late chef to Queen Victoria.

1876: Centennial Buckeye Cook Book, Ohio State University Press. Considered the most important cookbook to have originated in Ohio in the 19th century.

1883: Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Mrs. D.A. Lincoln. Founder and first director of the famous cooking school, Lincoln’s cookbook was a foundation of the home economics movement.

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