Food as history
cookbooks and related ephemera reveals surprising, forgotten facets of this country's culture.
Arranged from A (African American) to Z (Zuni corn culture), the show includes Malinda Russell's Domestic Cook Book. Unearthed by the Clements, this 1866 Michigan work claims the title of the country's earliest African American cookbook, an honor formerly held by Abby Fisher's 1881 What Mrs. Fisher Knows about Old Southern Cooking.
Another surprise is the biodiversity shown in a list of the fish available at a Rhode Island market. The eighty-six varieties listed include brill and the mysterious "frost fish" and "bulli eyes." Says exhibit curator Jan Longone, "It blows my mind."