Synopses & Reviews
There are no recipes for what the Indians ate in Colonial times, but this cookbook uses period quotations to detail what and how the foodstuffs were prepared. The bulk of the cookbook is devoted to what the European immigrants cooked and what evolved into American cooking. The first colonists from England brought their foodways to America. The basic foods that Americans of European descent ate changed very little from 1600 to 1840. While the major basic foods remained the same, their part in the total diet changed. Americans at the end of the period ate far more beef and chicken than did the first colonists. They used more milk, butter and cream. They also ate more wheat in the form of breads, cakes, cookies, crackers and cereals. The same was true with fruits. Over time the more exotic vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes, and numerous root vegetables including both sweet and white potatoes became common vegetables. By the end of this period, many Americans were even eating foods like tomatoes, okra, and sesame, which were unknown to their ancestors. In addition, Americans, like their relatives in Europe, incorporated coffee, tea, and chocolate into their diets as well as more sugar. Along with them came new customs, such as tea time, and, for men, socializing at coffeehouses. Also, distilled beverages, particularly rum, which was often made into a punch with citrus juices, were increasingly used.
"For novice cooks, Eden provides 240 recipes taken from early American primary sources, presented in their original wording. Recipes are arranged by period and then by their main ingredient and are accompanied by explanations of terminology and context, historical information, and descriptions of ingredients, eating habits, and preparation. Illustrations and facsimiles, as well as sample menus, are included." -
Reference & Research Book News
The food of American Indians and early settlers is described and made accessible through this period cookbook.
About the Author
TRUDY EDEN is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls.