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Culture and Cooking Art in the Kitchen

Catherine Owen’s 1881 “Culture and Cooking” is not a recipe book, per se, but rather an attempt to help readers understand food. She explains the processes of why recipes work and aims to elevate cooking in American to an art form, rather than a utilitarian, daily process of feeding the body. The recipes she does provide are written like a work of literature, rather than a listing of ingredients and directions, to give readers a thorough understanding of cookery, so that American cooks will begin (like the French) to see cooking as an art.