Tour Through American History And Palates
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Basically, using the library collection to study foodways, history, and culture.
They want to try making an aspic, because they have never had one? Must all be young folks. My grandmother made them all the time, and everyone excepting me loved it. :P
"Doubly so if a dish's taste profile says something about its time period or pedigree. Says one participant of a luridly orange-colored pie of Jell-O, orange sherbet and crushed pineapple: "This tastes exactly like what I imagine the 1970s to have been like."
I have several historical, or just plain old, cookbooks on my shelves for just this purpose in a small way. Sometimes I am given/come across an odd ingredient (most people here let persimmons fall to the ground and rot), and the older cookbooks help me figure out how to deal with them.
At least as much because the family favourite cook books include 650 country recipes, which is a late (1951) reprint of a book that goes back to Queen Victoria's Glorious Days, and Leipoldt's Cape Cookery, which is an account of how it was done in Clanwilliam at the same time. Another favourite is Traditional Cookery of the Cape Malays; the foreword says the MS of this was ready in 1949, preparing it for publication was interrupted by the death of Ms Gerber. The recipes are much older, however.
Then there's all the historical cooking we can all do at home. Apicius (2nd century) and Forme of Cury (1387) via To the King's Taste are regulars when I do the cooking. A propos of which, I was delighted to find a source of Long Pepper in Cape Town last month. Anybody know any good recipes that use it?
>2 MrsLee: I heartily agree about aspics. They still appear here too often, IMHO.
Sounds as if your wife will appreciate it too! ;) It also sounds amazing in a culinary way.