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Jul 21, 2007 06:10 PM

Collecting cookbooks

As a novice cookbook collector with over 200 cookbooks, I would like to find out what chowhounds think are the most (prized) valuable 20th century cookbooks to collect. From the first part of the century to the present.

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  1. First edition of The Joy of Cooking.
    If you can't find or afford it, any pre-1950s version - to see how ordinary American cooking and food has changed since WWII.

    1. Ask someone who knows the cookbook collection business. In NY, Nach Waxman, KITCHEN ARTS & LETTERS and Bonnie Slotnick, BONNIE SLOTNICK COOKBOOKS, have many years of experience and are very helpful. Google and call them for your answer. I bet they'll have suggestions for you. Good Luck!

      1. TREASURY OF GREAT RECIPES by Vincent Price is one of my greatest treasures. It's a beautiful book with recipes from some of the great old restaurants.

        1. My collection is highly regional--I esp treasure early editions of the Times-Picayune's Creole Cook Book, Lafcadio Hearn's Creole Cookbook, the original edition of River Road Recipes, and a whole bunch of now-out-of-print community cookbooks that showcased a rising awareness of regional culinary heritage.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Hungry Celeste

            River Road Recipes rocks!!! I also have a general suggestion --be very picky about ones you choose to keep. I am a cookbook addict, and have to fight for space in my home. They have to be unique in their oustanding quality, combinations, or food/regional/restaurant lore for me. (I am still culling for a sale of so many that no longer make the cut!) Ask yourself each time you are tempted, "what does this REALLY bring that is outstanding?"

            1. re: alkapal

              I tend to have a more ecumenical approach. I also like pamphlets/food-related ephemera, so I have a bunch of funky things that aren't really used for recipes or cooking tips, but function more as a regionally themed culinary archive.

          2. WITH LOVE FROM YOUR KITCHEN/Diana & Paul Von Welanetz

            During their stint on national public television, teaching couples to cook together, the Von Welanetz were my favorite home cooks/chefs. If you can track down a copy of any of their recipe books you've got a real gem. WITH LOVE....was my personal fav and Ebay has it used for 5.00.