Nowadays we have our pick, and then some, of food related movies, books, shows, courses, instagram accounts and holidays. You can enjoy Cajun and Creole, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, French, Indian, Mexican cuisine etc..and you can choose slow food, street food, soul food.
Food (as food technology expands, health and dietary needs change, supply issues unfold and the effects of global warming damage and destroy raw material) is constantly being redefined. Why there are even new entries in the dictionary with words like: Poke, Za’atar and Kombucha.
I felt like honoring the “not so humble cookbook” that many forget was also a book that transformed the world. You heard me. TRANSFORMED! by changing habits, molding and shaping ideas within social classes and creating/developing know how.
Changing Food Culture
Back in 1905 Annie Dennis’ revised version of her original cookbook (that included canning and long term safe storage of foodstuff) was making waves. The title: The new Annie Dennis Cook Book A Compendium of popular household recipes for the busy housewife. This practical no frills book brought variety and three healthy meals a day to each hardworking home. It has continued to be reprinted and sold online up to the present day and is considered of cultural importance.
And who can forget how Julia Child’s (co-authors Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle) Mastering the Art of French Cooking (that came out in 1961 amidst feminism and fast food) transformed food culture in America. With her exact measurements and foolproof tested recipes she made it possible for “servantless Americans”, and not just the rich with servants and cooks, to prepare fine French Cuisine in their own kitchens.
What about Jamie Oliver who revolutionized school cafeterias and family eating habits across Britain (and parts of the USA) by introducing healthy meals that were affordable, easy to prepare and delicious. His books with their sumptuous photography are coffee-table worthy. And he continues his crusade against food waste, and his promotion of healthy eating and sustainability. He brought fun and cool into the kitchen
So THANK YOU COOKBOOKS (and authors) for your contribution to our cultures, our kitchens and our bellies.