Apician Morsels

Or, Tales of the Table, Kitchen, and Larder

  Published in New York in 1829, this volume in the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection provides an entertaining culinary miscellany, with collected history, lore, anecdotes, and witticisms focused on food.

Published in 1829 in New York, Apician Morsels, or Tales of the Table, Kitchen, and Larder is an entertaining culinary miscellany that combines cooking history, lore, anecdotes, and witticism, all with a humorous flair. While Dick Humelbergius Secundus is the listed author (a tongue-in-cheek allusion to a 16th century annotator), the tome is believed to have been written by English novelist William Beckford. 

Continuing the jesting nature of the book, the title page proclaims to “[a]lways breakfast as if you did not intend to dine; and dine as if you had not broken your fast.” Furthermore, Apician Morsels explores oddities and fascinating lore such as the history of the toothpick, Roman customs on eating and drinking, and quirky antiquarian books on cooking, and warns about avoiding the most frightful of dining situations: eating alone at one’s own home. 


This edition of Apician Morsels, or Tales of the Table, Kitchen and Larder 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. 

About the Author

 The name Dick Humelbergius Secundus is believed to be a word play on the real annotator from the 16th century, Gabriel Hummelberger. Experts suggest that William Beckford, the Gothic novelist of Vathek, is the actual author of Apician Morsels; however, this suggestion has not been confirmed.  

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