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Cooking Down the Ages: Cookbooks and Recipes

Saturday, December 10, 2016, 10:00am
To Sunday, February 05, 2017

collage3 cookbooksAs part of the ongoing series of changing exhibitions highlighting Pequot Library’s Special Collections of archives, rare books, and manuscripts on view in the Reading Room and Perkin Gallery, a Pages from Pequot Special Collections' exhibition.

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 10, 2016, 5:00 – 7:00 pm.
Exhibition: December 10, 2016 - February 5, 2017

Join us to explore the history of culinary literature spanning the Middle Ages to today, with a vivid selection of items from the Library’s Special Collections. This exhibition highlights the significance of food preparation over the ages. It includes the first printed cookbook (1475) and several nineteenth-century cookbooks including Mary J. Lincoln’s Boston Cookbook: What to Do and What Not to Do in Cooking (1891), plus cookbooks written by contemporary culinary masters Julia Child, Mary Berry, and Sara Moulton.

The oldest entry of the exhibition is Bartolomeo Platina’s (1421-1481) De honesta voluptate et valetudine (“On honorable pleasure and health”), widely considered the first printed cookbook (1475). An Italian Renaissance humanist writer, gastronomist, and controversial Vatican librarian who presented recipes with a balanced and measured commentary on health, Platina compiled and circulated Roman ideas about fine dining throughout Europe.

Another key feature of the exhibition are cookbooks by famed American chef Fannie Merritt Farmer (1857-1915) and her teachers Maria Parloa and Mary J. Lincoln. Several cookbooks by celebrated chef Julia Child will be on view, including Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Also on display will be Accum’s Treatise on Adulterations of Food and Culinary Poisons (1820), the Southport Fire Department Cookbook, and unique books featuring meatless options for vegetarians and gluten-free choices for the paleo-taste palate.

Holiday recipes wanted! Contribute recipes for your favorite holiday dish or dessert either at the Front Desk or email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The recipes will be added to the growing Pequot Community Cookbook.

Related program:
Cooking By the Book: The Changing Landscape of American Cuisine
Thursday, January 5, 2017, 7pm - 9pm
Food historian, Sarah Wassberg, discusses the evolution of nutrition and cookbookery through the ages.

Location : Reading Room and Perkin Gallery
Contact : (203) 259-0346