Domestic Cook Book: Containing a Careful Selection of Useful Receipts for the Kitchen
Written in 1866 by a freed black woman named Malinda Russell, this cookbook is described as the oldest cookbook written by an African-American woman. The 39-page pamphlet, with 250 recipes, had gone unnoticed until 2001 when University of Michigan culinary history curator Jan Longone discovered a copy. The introduction of the book shows that Russell was from Tennessee, and was one of the first families “set free by Mr. Noddie of Virginia,” she wrote. She ran a pastry shop in Tennessee, as such, her cookbook is made up of mostly dessert recipes, including puff pastry and rose cake, Longone, who discovered the book, told New York Times.
“Her savory recipes included dishes like an elegant catfish fricassee and sweet onion custard,” the New York Times article added.