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American Cookery

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Cover of the first edition, 1796

American Cookery is an early American cookbook by Amelia Simmons, an orphan in domestic service probably in the Hudson River valley. American Cookery is the first known cookbook written and published by an American. It was printed in 1796 in Hartford, Connecticut. The book was reprinted and pirated for 30 years following its first publication. Only four copies of the first edition are known to exist.

The book is important for two reasons: first, it brought together British cooking techniques with native American ingredients, and second, it was the first printed American call for the use of baking powder (then called potash) rather than yeast.


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