Cookbook Bibliography: North American French Cookbooks – a short bibliography, Compiled by James P. LaLone
Elizabeth Baird, Best Recipes of the Maritime Provinces (Halifax, Nova Scotia: Formac Publishing Company Limited: 2012).
Sally Eustice, History from the Hearth – A Colonial Michilimackinac Cookbook (Mackinac Island, Michigan: Mackinac State Historic Parks, 1997). See the review on our Books Reviews’ Page.
English Translation of a French Cookbook: In 1776, B. Clermont, a French cook employed in Great Britain, published the third edition of The Professed Cook or The modern art of cookery, pastry, & confectionary, made plain and easy; consisting of the most approved methods in the French, as well as English cookery ... With the addition of the best receipts, which have ever appeared in the French or English languages. In this cookbook, Clermont translated Menon’s French Cookbook, Les Soupers de la Cour for his own use. The 1776 edition is available from www.archive.org, (https://ia600502.us.archive.org/6/items/professedcookorm00cleriala/professedcookorm00cleriala.pdf) while the 1812 edition as well as the 1776 edition are available from www.HathiTrust.org (http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/009706568). The Hathi Trust catalog entry also includes links to some of Menon’s cookbooks in French. Menon was the pseudonym of an unknown French cook and author.
Adventuresome cooks wishing to adapt these recipes for their own use would need to experiment to determine proper cooking times and temperatures. Our ancestors may have learned how to cook similar dishes prior to their immigration to New France and used their knowledge to prepare meals with the foods available to them in different areas of New France. Prior to the availability of sailing ships and air transportation many dishes would be considered regional recipes. As an example, while residents of the Great Lakes would have access to whitefish, trout, and perch, they would not have access to eels which were widely eaten in the St. Lawrence settlements or the seafood eaten by the Acadians. Similarly, fruits and vegetables would be limited to those that could be grown locally, while meats and poultry would be limited to the family’s livestock or game that could be hunted locally. Sally Eustice’s History from the Hearth thoroughly discusses the types of food that would have been available at Michilimackinac as well as providing cooks with instructions on how to adapt 18th century recipes to modern kitchens.
Fall Fruits and Vegetables - Courtesy of Microsoft Office
Blackberries and Raspberries - Courtesy of Microsoft Office
While many of the following recipes are French or French-Canadian, others use ingredients that would have been available to our ancestors in Acadia, the St. Lawrence Settlements, the Great Lakes, and Louisiana.
Breads, Quick Breads, Muffins, Coffee Cakes:
Fruits, Side Dishes, and Vegetables: