Lot 291 of 373:
First Creole Cookbook, 1885  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyer's Premium):$3,000
$5,000 - $8,000

The Creole Cookery Book
Christian Woman’s Exchange of New Orleans, LA.
New Orleans
T.H. Thomason, Printer, 36 Natchez Street

Octavo, xxv, [i], [1]- 216, [8, ads]; [10 blank ruled leaves], 217-223 pp. Frontispiece woodcut of a black female cook. Original 3/4 calf & gilt-lettered cloth, gilt-lettering in the shape of a crab & a crawfish, spine titled in gilt. First Edition.

A landmark culinary work; the first cookbook of Creole cookery, and the first New Orleans recipe collection. “The great chronology of New Orleans cookbooks gained its true start in 1885 when two cookbooks were compiled and published especially for visitors to the World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial (1884–1885). The first (by a few months), The Creole Cookery Book by the Christian Woman’s Exchange, and the second, La Cuisine Créole by Lafcadio Hearn, provide extensive listings of recipes proclaimed as unique to New Orleans." The word Creole, long in popular use, now came to be applied to cuisine.” (New Orleans Cookbook Bibliography, ed. by Tucker, et al). Cagle & Stafford 199; Axford, page 104; Bitting, page 539; Brown 1145; Cook, page 94; Tucker, et al, New Orleans Cookbook Bibliography; Uhler 48; Wheaton & Kelly 3775

Don Lindgren writes: The Christian Woman’s Exchange began in 1881 as a group of New Orleans elite ladies dedicated to social good and the improvement of needy women’s lives through education and the sale of their handmade crafts. This cookbook is significant as the first in the city’s history. According to the title page, recipes were collected from “housekeepers experienced in the science of cookery as practiced throughout the South, and more particularly as it is understood and applied by the Creoles of Louisiana.” The book was published to create a written record of “hereditary lore” and to raise funds for an Exchange headquarters building. Advertisements follow 216 pages of text. There is no index, but a table of contents lists each recipe and organizes them into sections of Soups, Shell Fish, Fish, Sauces, Fowl, Meats, Vegetables, Bread, Cakes, Ices (including ice creams and custards), Puddings, Preserves, Pickles, Confectionery, and Miscellaneous recipes, concluding with a list of weights and measures. Largely created to be marketed to visitors to the 1884 World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, the cookbook is considered one of the classic New Orleans texts. Additionally, there are five pages of manuscript recipes on the added leaves, including a heading for soups, and Cream of Celery Soup, Noodle Soup, Crawfish Bisque, Creole Celery Soup, and Turtle Soup a la Creole.

Lot Amendments
Joints cracking, rubbing to corners, wear (with leather lacking) to spine ends; one or two green pencil marks to margins, else very good and extremely rare.
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