Published in 1843 in Philadelphia, this volume in the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection is derived from an earlier English work that author J. M. Sanderson heavily adapted for American usage, creating not only a cookbook that combined the best of American and European cooking of the time, but perhaps one of the first “international” cookbooks.
James M. Sanderson’s The Complete Cook contains over 700 recipes, including “directions for the choice of meat and poultry; preparations for cooking, making soups and broths; boiling, roasting, baking and frying meats, fish; seasonings, colourings, cooking vegetables; preparing salads, clarifying; making of pastry, puddings, gruels, gravies, garnishes, and, with general directions for making wines.” According to the title page and his introduction, Sanderson clearly states that the majority of his book was copied heavily from a well-known English work, and he is but the adaptor. We now know the uncredited author was W. G. Lewis. Sanderson’s small contributions throughout create an excellent combination of American and English cooking. For example, he provides an American recipe for Pumpkin Pie alongside the English version, comments on cooking in the excessive heat of the West Indies, and refers to a superior English method for boiling meat without contact with the water. There are quite a few American recipes cited with their English counterparts and referred to as “the American mode,” for example, “The American Mode of Dressing Salt Fish.” This edition of The Complete Cook was reproduced by permission from the volume in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts. Founded in 1812 by Isaiah Thomas, a Revolutionary War patriot and successful printer and publisher, the society is a research library documenting the lives of Americans from the colonial era through 1876. The society collects, preserves, and makes available as complete a record as possible of the printed materials from the early American experience. The cookbook collection comprises approximately 1,100 volumes.
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