I’ve got a weakness for old books. I can admit that. I have shelves of books in every room of my house. I have an especially soft spot for vintage cookbooks.
This little treasure is one I stumbled across the other week at one of my regular secret-book-finding-hole-in-the-wall-thrift-store. No. I am not going to tell you where it is. It’s a secret.
1963 Cooking the Japanese Way
Publisher: Spring Books
Author: Nina Froud
Hardcover, 255 pages
Condition: good, no dust jacket, pages have some yellowing, no marks, no tears, newspaper clippings inserted in front cover with additional Japanese recipes
In 1963, Americans were spreading their culinary wings and starting to try “foreign” foods. This cookbook is a great education in the ways of Japanese cooking.
A first edition and part of the Cookery series. The introduction states: “Japanese food is unique in many respects, most of all, perhaps, in its aesthetic appeal. Perhaps, because of this (although not very much is known about the way the Japanese cook, serve food and eat), there persists a popular generalization that Japanese cooks’ aim is to catch the eye rather than the palate.” Remembering that this book was published in the early 1960s, many Americans and Europeans were fairly uninformed about Japanese cuisine.
The book proceeds to introduce the cook to Japanese cooking measurements and methods in attempt to ease the reader into cooking. The book also includes a pretty good explanation of acceptable behaviors for Japanese dinners.
The lessons included cover all parts of the Japanese dining experience. If you get your hands on a copy of this book and read it through, you’ll know exactly how to behave at a Japanese dinner, in 1963.
As with any vintage cookbook, keep in mind that things have changed since publication, and you might want to find a friend who knows Japanese cooking methods and etiquette and take some lessons in today’s culture.
This book and other vintage cookbooks are available for purchase in my Etsy store, you can shop by clicking here.
One of the great things I love about old cookbooks is the little secrets you find tucked inside. Often a cook will make notes in the margin or clip recipes from another source and tuck them in the pages. This cookbook has three newspaper clipping of Japanese style recipes tucked in the front cover.
Do you clip recipes and tuck them in your cookbooks? What sort of recipes have you found clipped and inserted in cookbooks? Let me know in the comments below!
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