Published in Philadelphia in 1832, this volume in the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection was written by a well-known French cookbook writer and translated by a wildly popular American author. It was the first source of information about classic French cooking specifically adapted for the American market in the early 19th century.
Published in 1832 in Philadelphia, Domestic French Cookery by well-known French writer Louis-Eustache Audot was translated and adapted for an American audience by Eliza Leslie, one of the most popular and prolific American cookbook authors of the 19th century. This classic French cookbook was originally published in Paris in 1818 and has had 87 editions—the American adaptation was also very successful with over 6 editions printed in 23 years.
For the American version of Domestic French Cookery, Leslie took great pains to adapt the work for American tools, techniques, and available food. As stated in her preface, Leslie notes that she “aimed at making a book of practical utility to all those who may have a desire to introduce occasionally at their tables good specimens of the French culinary art.” Furthermore, Leslie deemed food items such as sheep’s tails and calves’ ears as below her American audience’s tastes and instead focused on including “respectable” recipes such as Maccaroni Soup, French Coffee, Fine Lemonade, Convenient Lemonade, French Cucumber Pickles, and Chocolate Drops.
This edition of Domestic French Cookery 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 lives 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 comprises approximately 1,100 volumes.