Betty at the Roger Smith Cookbook Conference 2012 “Cookbooks as Dreams of the Ideal”

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Cookbooks are much more than collections of instructions to get dinner on the table. From our earliest culinary records through the present (and beyond, we predict), cookbooks document culture, technology, identity, and even aspirations. What makes cookbooks a unique resource for historians, anthropologists, sociologists and others is that most cookbooks do this unconsciously; that is, in the guise of filling a practical need for practical instruction, cookbooks teach the careful reader about the values, needs, and desires of the cookbook audience.

Chair: Betty Fussell, Writer and Lecturer

Panelists: Paul Freedman, Professor of History, Yale University, Jane Lear, Freelance Writer, Editor and Editorial Consultant; Molly O’Neill, Author

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Posted on Apr 17, 2012