The Cornucopia: Being a Kitchen Entertainment and Cookbook

Written by:Judith Herman and Marguerite Shalett Herman
Format:7 1/4 x 9 1/4, 319 pages, 500 line illustrations
Release Date:2005-11-30

Price: $29.95

About this Book

Purchase from the Huntington Store




Winner, American Institute of Graphic Arts' Fifty Books of the Year


The Cornucopia, published to wide acclaim in 1973, is an exquisitely annotated collection of five centuries of European and American culture as seen through the eyes of both the chef and the gourmet. Drawing on more than 150 sources, beginning with The Forme of Cury (1390), through to the 1890s and some of the most beautiful examples of culinary Victoriana, this richly good-humored book tumbles out a virtual treasury of food lore, commentary and opinion, customs and attitudes, and more than three hundred delectable and tested recipes, given in their original format.

From a 1598 recipe for “four and twenty blackbirds baked into a pie,” to an exquisite 1653 Izaak Walton recipe for stuffed pike, to an 1898 formula for a drink improbably named the ”Bosom Caresser” (sherry, brandy, sugar, an egg yolk, and a pinch of cayenne pepper), this unique volume is all the food lover could ask for.


View excerpts from the book

About the Author
Judith Herman and Marguerite Shalett Herman, the daughter-mother team that compiled this volume, tested more than a thousand recipes and gathered thousands of pieces of food lore from texts in the Huntington Library's rare book collections.


Reviews of the original edition:
“I am enjoying it immensely, and it is one of those books that makes one want to try things out--like the puff pastry on page 233...I love the way the book is set up...that the recipes have been left as congratulations for a job well done.”--Julia Child

"The Cornucopia…is pure entertainment… such general easy jolliness is hard to find and much to be savored…. I can find nothing but plain enjoyment in the book."—M. F. K. Fisher, The New Yorker


"Recipes, lore and anecdotes from the old world and the new, dating from 1390 to 1899, make up the subject matter, and the handsome layout and [reproductions of] attractive old engravings of foods and utensils make it inviting to dip into."—New York Magazine

"This fine smorgasbord will whet the appetite for the original books from which it was assembled."—New York Times


"With a truly handsome format featuring many engravings, this is a fine staple for culinary historians and practitioners—and an exemplary gift."—Kirkus Reviews

"This is an exploration, curious and fascinated, by a couple of nosers-around in the vast, uncollected library of five centuries of the English printed word on food, from 1390 to 1899. In the finished product the Hermans preserve not only the recipes but their original language, and a great deal of the lore they dug up in the course of their seeking."—Village Voice

"This handsome book is a delight to the culinary historian and the adventurous cook."—Library Journal


The Cornucopia appears to be a kind of salad of recipes, food lore, and facts drawn from the Huntington’s Library’s rare book collections…This book is going to be … useful as a omnium gatherum for food writers and publicists who always need fun facts, and a great fun read for anyone interested in food.”--Food History News


“This engaging and attractive compendium of recipes, lore, and anecdotes draws on 150 sources and recounts the findings with good humor and plenty of details…Reproductions of old engravings of foods and utensils, along with contemporary quotations, fill the margins of every page.” –Reference & Research Book News


The Cornucopia is a treasury of food lore, cultural mementos, luscious drinks, and exquisite recipes, such as Economist’s Pudding, Venison Pasty, Spider Corn Cake, and much more.  A handful of black-and-white illustrations round out this venerable kitchen classic.” –The Midwest Book Review


Also of interest: A Celebration of Herbs by Shirley Kerins

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About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington, a key figure in the...

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