Cookbooks served as more than recipe collections for nineteenth-century readers. Cookbooks formed a lucrative publishing market for upwardly mobile middle-class women tasked with managing a household. Cookbooks provided instructions for buying food, managing a household budget, caring for ill relatives, preparing meals, and hiring domestic staff. Cookbooks illuminated women’s relationships with food and domesticity and created a middle-class culinary identity impacted by new technologies, methods of transportation, and upward social mobility. Many women learned foreign and domestic foods from reading cookbooks; these works also urged British women living abroad to keep current with imperial efforts by promoting native diets and standards of domesticity. Cookbooks provided a starting point for middle-class women to learn about domestic matters in increasingly modernized environments.
Since recipes and household management advice were typically passed down...
KeywordsCookery Colonialism Gastro-cosmopolitanism Domesticity Household management Imperialism
- Acton, Eliza. 1845. Modern cookery and all its branches. London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans.Google Scholar
- Broomfield, Andrea. 2007. Food and cooking in Victorian England: A history. Westport: Praeger.Google Scholar
- Floyd, Janet, and Laurel Forster. 2010. The recipe in its cultural contexts. In The recipe reader: Narratives, contexts, traditions, ed. Laurel Forster, 1–11. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar
- Zlotnick, Susan. 2010. Domesticating imperialism: Curry and cookbooks in Victorian. In The recipe reader: Narratives, contexts, traditions, ed. Janet Floyd and Laurel Forster, 72–87. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar