Hardcover: 174 pages
Publisher: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (May 1, 1971)
Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 7.2 x 1 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #82,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #15 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > U.S. Regional > Middle Atlantic #135 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > U.S. Regional > South
`The Williamsburg Cookbook, Updated and Enlarged!' is one of those books I bought as a souvenir with relatively little thought of actually cooking from it, since I had no strong interest in recreating meals from Colonial Virginia. But then, I reviewed another `period piece' cookbook from Walter Staib of Philadelphia's City Tavern, which has also been transformed into a historically `accurate' culinary location. So, since I saw that this Williamsburg offering came up under a search for exemplars of `Southern' cooking, I thought it only fair that I give it a review.For starters, just like Staib's City Tavern books, the recipes in the Williamsburg book are adapted to modern kitchens with an eye to doing a close simulation of the colonial dish. So, I played my little game of locating how many anachronistic ingredients (those invented after 1775) I could find in the recipes. I was happy to find so few. The ones that stood out were true baking powder, which was invented around 1850 and Worchestershire sauce, invented (by accident) in the 1840's. The few others I found such as `saltines' would have easily found period items. I suspect that it would not be hard to find ship's biscuits in the Virginia capitol of the time. I am happy to allow things such as canned tomatoes, as there is no question in my mind that home canning of vegetables was common. I thankfully found no reference to margarine. I am just a bit skeptical about the prominent use of mayonnaise, especially as the book provides no recipe for homemade mayonnaise, which did not appear in print until 1804. But, I'm sure cooks have been using egg-emulsified oil or fat in the 18th century, even if they didn't use that French name. It's just that I'm sure there was no Hellman's mayonnaise jars in 1776.
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