Manuscript Cookbooks

manuscript-cookbookThree manuscript cookbooks held in Virginia Tech’s Newman Library’s Special Collections promise rich material for food history scholars.

Food historian Rachel Laudan says this about manuscript cookbooks in Mexico:

What are not included in this list are manuscript cookbooks. Many of the great convents in Mexico still have magnificent manuscript cookbooks from the eighteenth century.  These are not only written in a beautiful hand, but really are part of the treasure of Mexico because it was in the convents that much of the country’s [modern] cuisine was created.

Take a look at these — the links take you directly to scanned pages of the original manuscripts:

Nancy Figgat Recipe Book 1860
Receipts and home remedies c.1869
Cooking Recipes

If you know of any manuscript cookbooks in your family, stuffed in a box in the attic, please take them to your nearest university library’s Special Collections section.  Your junk might be another person’s treasure.

[Note: I will be tied up with family arrangements for the next week or so; thus, blogs posts from now until then will necessarily be brief, but still with some sustenance. Until later,À bientôt!]

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