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Cookbook Love Podcast

Dec 27, 2018

Welcome back to our final episode of the Cookbook Love Podcast for 2018! Today I feature an interview with Cookbook Collector and Food Librarian Sara Bir. Sara has a great love for cookbooks and this began as a child when she used her mom’s cookbooks to “make messes in the kitchen.” Sara went on to attend the Culinary Institute of America because she wanted to write about food. Sara describes herself as a cookbook reader and collector and believes that cookbooks have made her who she is today. In our interview, we talk about a variety of topics including her collection of cookbooks from the 1950s-1980s as well as resources available online and through your public library for those who love food history and research just like Sara does.

Listen to Episode 17 below:

iTunes or the Apple Podcast App


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Things We Mention In This Episode:

  • Culinary Pamphlets Online:
    A collection of promotional recipe pamphlets from the 1930s-1960s.
  • Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project
    The Feeding America project has created an online collection of some of the most important and influential American cookbooks from the late 18th to early 20th century. The digital archive includes page images of 76 cookbooks from the MSU Library's collection as well as searchable full-text
  • Food Timeline:
    An interactive timeline of the history of food on earth. The interface is very basic, but the scope is massive. Librarian Lynne Oliver runs this, using a lot of her own cookbook and cookery book collection.
  • JSTOR:
    Thousands of full-text academic journals, papers, magazines, and books. This one leans more toward heavy-duty research;  Of the resources here, this is the only one behind a paywall. It is possible, if not probable, that you can log in to it for free using your public or college library card. Just call your library and ask--they'll walk you through it.
  • New York Public Library Buttolph Collection of Menus:
    Tens of thousands of restaurant menus collected by a slightly eccentric New Yorker. No recipes here, of course, but looking at menus tells us a lot about how people ate when they didn't eat at home, and who ate out in the first place.
  • NYU's Early American Cookbooks:
    Full-text cookbooks in a very easily browsable format. Choice title: "The Bachelor and the Chafing Dish" from 1896. Most of the books here were written for homemakers, though--presumably women. They also have a lot of infographics illustrating how recipe writing in America has evolved between 1800 and 1920.