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American Cookery The Art of Dressing Viands, Fish, Poultry, and Vegetables

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  199 ratings  ·  31 reviews
This facsimile of the first American-written cookbook published in the United States is not only a first in cookbook literature, but a historic document. It reveals the rich variety of food Colonial Americans enjoyed, their tastes, cooking and eating habits, even their colorful language.
Author Amelia Simmons worked as a domestic in Colonial America and gathered her cookery
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Kindle Edition, 44 pages
Published May 17th 2012 (first published January 3rd 2005)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  199 ratings  ·  31 reviews


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Stephanie
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Took a while to get used to reading with the s’s looking like f in the middle of words. But it’s really cool to read and learn what they would have eaten in the 1700’s. I made mince pie for the first time, using this recipe. You can’t get more authentic than that!
Alisa Hedden
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful reproduction of the first ever American cookbook, with recipes using ingredients unique to America. While the recipes contained in this book are not what would be normally produced in a modern American kitchen, they provide a valuable insight into the changes of the home and marketplace. But one thing has not changed, as Amelia states: “and the best cook cannot alter the first quality, they must be good, or the cook will be disappointed.” Or, in modern American, always get th ...more
James Violand
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cooks.
Shelves: own
I love to cook. I love to eat. No, no, I'm not fat - it's genetic with me. Anyway, this book is a reprint of one from the late 1700s. I've learned a lot from this work but mostly how good a roast becomes when you dust it with flour. That's the only way I do any roast from now on. Other than that trick, we've pretty much adapted the techniques and recipes in this book.
Vaishali
Written in 1796 by an orphan, this is a rather fascinating peek into American fare in the colonial era. I was floored to discover that rosewater - now an exotic ingredient only found in Indian and middle-eastern marts - was commonly used then. Some fruit no longer in vogue: quinces (from the apple/pear family), damsons (a plum type), and barberries (now used mostly in Irani cuisine).
Sue
Apr 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: interested in food history
I love my Dover thrift editions. This is a reprint of the first cookbook published in the United States by an American author. The introduction to the book is extremely well done and establishes the significance of the book.
Linda
Sep 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic
The first cookbook written by an American, using American foods, and published in America.
Angela
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting look into early American cooking.
Michelle
Sep 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, cookbooks
I am going to need some serious luck with trying to reproduce these recipes.
Erica
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Erica by: Townsends
The fact that this is a "facsimile of the first American-written cookbook published in the United States is not only a first in cookbook literature, but a historic document" says it all. It's a small little booklet, but quite insightful, and I'd recommend it to anyone especially those who are collectors of cookbooks and like the looks of having antique items around the kitchen.

I originally found interest in this cookbooks through watching Townsends on YouTube And this particular copy features a
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Chris
I'm not too certain about its value as a cookbook for today, but I thought this was a cool little historical document with a very informative introductory essay on the text's importance. The front part of the book is devoted to advice on selecting food items ranging from livestock, to fish, to fruits and vegetables. The second part of the book contains the recipes, or receipts as the book terms them. The recipes lack the precision of instructions, but I think it could be fun to pick out one that ...more
Benjamin Bookman
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very cool. The introductory essay was great context and the historical authenticity of including even the mistakes is neat. I just wish there was a third section that included enough "updated" info that I could actually try some of the recipes.
Evelyn Goldman
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: research
I wish we knew more about Amelia than what is written on her pages. There are true gems that make me wonder if she intended her words to come off the way they do in this modern day. If so, she was an early feminist (see The Queen of All Birds... the Pea Hen)
Lou Fillari
Seems like it was difficult to cook way back when. Good thing there were creative and inspired peoples like Amelia living way back when.

Actually, my ancestors were in Italy and eastern Europe way back when. Amelia's cooking did not affect my lineage.

Cute book. Salty buttery receipts galore.
Elizabeth Harless
Apr 02, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bad

The kindle version has a letter f where the letter should be an s. It makes it annoying to read.
Justin
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: cooking
I am not a fan of the organization/layout
Charlie Gipe
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Book

I love the old methods to put together the ingredients for each recipe. Tested many of the recipe over a open hearth fire and they are spot on.
Yvonna
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great glimpse into the art of American cookery of our past!
Teri L.
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first book by an American author on cooking with ingredients found in America. Interesting to read - once you get accustomed the original typeface that uses "f's" for "s's." A glossary in the back defines terms that are no longer in use: syllabub, emptines, bullace, for example. Even then it was known that "the best cook cannot alter the first quality {of ROOTS and VEGETABLES}, they must be good, or the cook will be disappointed." A surprising number of dishes were created using very few ing ...more
Jean Roberts
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great old, just post American Revolution, cookbook. You'll be surprised by the variety of foods they ate. While exact recipes are few, it is a fun read and a good way to delve into the 18th century kitchen.
Heather dennis
Oct 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: food
As with any old book there are random moments of unintentional hilarity.

Some of my favorite parts:
"How to choose fish: salmon, the noblest and richest fish taken in fresh water-- the largest are the best. They are unlike almost every other fish, are ameliorated by being 3-4 days out of water, if kept from heat and the moon, which has more injurious effect than the sun."

I have so many questions, namely what device did they think would protect dead fish from the forces of gravity. How can you te
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Cheryl
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book after my own heart...where my love of cooking, history, and reading intersect. This is a facsimile of the first cookbook published in America by an America using American goods. I look forwards to trying to reproduce some of these recipes (they are not written very much like a recipe today and a lot is done by appearance). Reading the book, I have learned how to prepare/butcher a turtle and have also learned that, while French people use garlic, it is best reserved for medicine! W ...more
Natashya KitchenPuppies
A chance for modern day cooks to discover the first published American cookbook.
Facsimile of the original pages on the right hand side, with some interpretation on the left.
Fascinating look into the past.
I'm not going to give it a star rating because you can't compare it to modern glossy cookbooks.
See my post here - http://livinginthekitchenwithpuppies....
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Dan
Oct 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just an interesting glimpse into the world of cooking in the U.S. a bit over 200 years ago. Generally acknowledged as America's first published cookbook, it's a guide for unmarried women who find themselves needing to take work as domestic help in the homes of the wealthy and covers how to select meats and produce and how to prepare them properly for the tastes of the day.
Sarah
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the introduction the best. The recipes are hard to follow because of the way they described them then, but definitely possible to replicate. Which I will be doing. It's free on Amazon--so I recommend that everyone read the introduction if they enjoy cooking. I love her commentary on rabbits and garlic.
Joseph
A peek at the 18th century American table. Notable for its clear, individual voice (no editor smoothed out the particulars of this woman's speech), liberal application of meat and sugar (God bless America), and strong anti-garlic position. The latter, considering the chutzpah it took for a woman to publish in this time, is forgiven.
Leah
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was a bit disappointed as I hoped to find recipes that were not full of sugar. Even in 1796 the recipes were full of sugar. Perhaps it is because the recipes are from the United States, where slaves were growing sugar and it was readily available. One never knows....
Nevertheless, the recipes are interesting and some look quite good. We make things differently today.
Anne
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the copy with commentary from Mary Tolford Wilson; figured this would be the closest to the reproduction that I have.
Good to read the commentary first; lots of interesting stuff here on how to cook from the first cookbook written and printed in America.....by a woman.
Ange
A Christmas gift from Barron. More fun to read than use.
David M. Baldrini
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting

I've always had an interest in old time recipes and I like trying them
Now I have to try and decipher them
Mckinley
Jul 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting to read while there are descriptive recipes, it's more about what people ate and how they cooked it up. I'm not sure I could follow the directions all that successfully.
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