Published in Hartford in 1796, this volume in the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection is a facsimile edition of one of the most important documents in American culinary history. This is the first cookbook written by an American author specifically published for American kitchens.
Bringing together English cooking methods with truly American products, American Cookery contains the first known printed recipes substituting American maize for English oats; and the recipe for Johnny Cake is apparently the first printed version using cornmeal. The book also contains the first known recipe for turkey. Possibly the most far-reaching innovation was Simmons’s use of pearlash—a staple in colonial households as a leavening agent in dough, which eventually led to the development of modern baking powders.
This facsimile edition of Amelia Simmons's American Cookery 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 life 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 includes approximately 1,100 volumes.