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Wednesday October 01, 2014
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Food as history

 

continued

The exhibit also offers aesthetic pleasures. Opposite the title page of Praktisches Kochbuch fr die Deutschen in Amerika there's a German cook's visage, so grim it suggests she owned a kitchen scale calibrated to thousandths of an ounce. There's also the famed 1903 "Settlement" cookbook, flirtatiously titled The Way to a Man's Heart (the right way, apparently - it's still in print). Fish-steeds swirl on an ad for salmon (pictured). There's even a rhymed recipe for chowder:

First lay some Onions to keep the Pork from burning,
Because in Chowder there can be no turning,
Then lay some Pork in slices very thin,
That you in Chowder always must begin,
Next, lay some Fish cut crossways very nice,
Then season well with pepper, salt and spice,
Parsley, Sweet Marjoram, Savory, and Thyme,
Then Biskit next which must be soak'd some time,
Thus your foundation laid, you will be able,
To raise a Chowder high as the Tower
of Babel.
For by repeating o'er the same again,
You may make Chowder for a thousand men.
Last, Bottle of Claret with Water eno' to smother them,
You'll have a Mess which some will Omnium gather 'em.


As Rhode Island boasted of its chowder, other regions boosted their regional cuisines, as in Cleveland's 1842 Every Body's Cook and Receipt Book: But More Particularly Designed for Buckeyes, Hoosiers, Wolverines, Corncrackers, Suckers, and All Epicures Who Wish to Live with the Present Times.

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