Food History Books & Resources

Learn more about the historical context of food and recipes through the following books.

The American History Cookbook
By Mark H. Zanger
More than 350 recipes, from the First Nations and early settlers up to the 1970s. Zanger takes you on a chronological journey, explaining the ingredients, cooking methods, and historical context of the recipes presented.

Cuisine and Culture: A History of Food and People
By Linda Civitello
The author explores how historic events shaped the culinary traditions of various societies. This second edition provides expanded features and coverage.

Food in the United States, 1890-1945
By Megan Elias
The American food industry changed radically from the Gilded age to the end of WWII and in this book Megan Elias captures the key changes which effected how and what we eat today. [publication date: June 30, 2009]

The Market Basket: More Cooking and Eating in Lawrence, Kansas, 1921-1949
By Jane Garrett
Relive a weekly recipe competition from the Lawrence Journal-World which spanned three decades. In this book, Jane Garrett brings the 600+ winning recipes to life for everyone to enjoy.

Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters:
More than 100 Years of Recipes Discovered from Family Cookbooks, Original Journals, Scraps of Paper, and Grandmothers Kitchen

Online Publications

  • Feeding America – Cookbooks
    A digitization project from Michigan State Univ. in which 76 historic cookbooks are made available for online viewing.
  • Feeding America – Historic Cooking Utensils
    A selection of cooking implements from the Michigan State University Museum are shown, along with additional information.
  • Cookery by Amy G. Richards (1895); browse over 400 pages from this cookbook as scanned by the National Library of Canada.

Online Food History Resources


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