International flavor comes to America: Early Ethnic cookbooks

Chinese-Japanese Cook Book by Sara Bosse and Onoto Watanna [pseud.], Chicago, Rand McNally [c1914]. First Edition

The folks at Rare Books Digest have put together an informative list of first appearances of various ethnic cookbooks in America. From the 1828 first American publication of a French cookbook to the first Greek cookbook that, amazingly enough, wasn’t published in this country until 1942!

Here’s a sampling. 

El cocinero español by Encarnación Pinedo. San Francisco, 1898.

This was not only the first Mexican-American cookbook published in America it was also the first written by a Hispanic in the US and to mention the cuisine of California.


The French Cook by Louis Eustache Ude. Philadelphia: Carey Lea & Carey, 1828 First American Edition

Published fifteen years after the original London edition.

Jewish Cookery Book, on Principles of Economy, Adapted for Jewish Housekeepers, with the Addition of Many Useful Medicinal Recipes, and Other Valuable Information, Relative to Housekeeping and Domestic Management by Esther Levy. Philadelphia: W.S. Turner, 1871. Rare First Edition 

The Italian Cook Book. The Art of Eating Well. Practical Recipes of the Italian Cuisine, Pastries, Sweets, Frozen Delicacies and Syrups. by Maria Gentile. New York: Italian Book Company, 1919. First edition

The “First Edition” links will bring you to collectible copies currently on the market.

Hungry for more?

Michigan State University’s online collection Feeding America highlights 76 of the most important and influential American cookbooks from the late 18th to early 20th century.