Weekly Special: Ben Franklin’s Art of Eating Cookbook with Colonial Recipes

January 11, 2010 at 12:29 pm Leave a comment

Weekly Book Special: January 11th-17th

Benjamin Franklin on The Art of Eating:
Together with the Rules of Health and Long Life and the Rules to Find out a Fit Measure of Meat and Drink, with Several Recipes

by Benjamin Franklin and Gilbert Chinard, introduction by Roy Goodman
(Paperback, 72 pages, 2006, $10.00)

This week we commemorate the birth of Benjamin Franklin on January 17th. Franklin, who would be turning 303 years old this coming weekend, was one of the United States’ Founding Fathers: a scientist, politician, printer, diplomat and inventor. He also had an insatiable curiosity for cooking.

“Let the gentleman who seems ignorant of the matter do us the honour of a visit in America, and I will engage to breakfast him every day in the month with a fresh variety,” Franklin told an anonymous letter writer who criticized American food.

Chefs will find a splendid collection of colonial-era recipes and food tidbits discovered in Franklin’s private journals. Written in English and French with illustrations, the book sheds new light on the man who founded electricity and had a sweet tooth.

Our affiliate the American Philosophical Society, a scholarly organization that Franklin founded in 1743, originally published the book in 1958. In 2006, the Society reprinted it in a special edition to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Franklin’s birth.

My favorite recipe is for the delicious punch Orange Shrub:
Orange Shrub Punch

This book also contains an essay on “Benjamin Franklin On the Art of Eating” by Gilbert Chinard; a collection of Franklin’s “Rules [for Eating] and Recipes” and an introduction by Roy Goodman, assistant librarian and curator of printed materials at the American Philosophical Society.

Student bloggers at Colorado State University have more of Franklin’s excerpts.

Purchase this book for $10:
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