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A Peek into America's Unusual Culinary Past

Di Qiu
Creative Commons

Of regional interest, Americans of the 19th century had some rather unusual eating habits, according to the History Department, an NPR project that takes a fresh look at American History.

For example Wehman’s Cookbook, published in 1890, contained a recipe for Robin Pie.  The book instructs readers to "Cover the bottom of a pie-dish with thin slices of beef and fat bacon, over which lay ten or twelve robins.” Today robins are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Another interesting delicacy: An 1853 cookbook called Home Cookery contained a recipe for Calf’s Foot Jelly. And The American Home Cook Book of 1898 held a recipe for Boiled Eels, which insisted that cooks "Use small ones; stew with plenty of parsley, in very little water.” This all begs the question, what foods will future generations find odd when they look through our cookbooks?