Historical Notes on Montgomery County Foodways

I’ve been working on a cookbook titled Bread & Beauty, A Year in Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve. Along with interviewing farmers and agricultural advocates, attending events, and developing recipes based on Ag Reserve produce, I’ve had the great pleasure of researching in the Library of Congress. I’ve found some interesting bits of Montgomery’s food history, some of which is not appropriate for the book, but are too good to leave in the stacks.

From A Quaker Woman’s Cookbook, William Woys Weaver, 1982

Weaver notes that Elizabeth Ellicott Lea’s circa 1850 cookbook captures the cultural diversification of the mid-Atlantic. From the American Indians, there are ingredients like green corn, squash, and terrapin with home remedies from sassafras, lily root, and spicewood berries. From Africans, okra, gumbo soup, and Creole foods spread by the Mississippi River trade and railroads. Germans contributed apple butter, bacon dumplings, bologna sausage, scrapple, and gingerbread. And because Quakers were teetotallers, entertainments focused on evening tea parties with spreads of tea cakes, loaf cakes, currant breads, cookies, tea biscuits, lemon butter, cream cheese and ice cream.


About Appetite for Books

read, cook, eat, repeat
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