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Price Realized: $11,250 With Buyer's Premium Show Hammer Price
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Sale 2444 Lot 180
(JUDAICA.) Levy, Esther. Jewish Cookery Book. 200 pages plus  pages of ads for Philadelphia businesses at end. Small 8vo, publisher's cloth, worn but sturdy; front hinge starting, front flyleaf defective, moderate wear and finger-soiling throughout, short tape repairs to three leaves; inscribed on front free endpaper "In property of the family." In English, with additional title and a few other words in Hebrew. Philadelphia, 1871
Estimate $8,000 - 12,000
scarce first edition of the first jewish cookbook published in the united states. The introductory sections provide an overview of kosher dining, household economy, and table-setting. Later sections include household tips ("to cement broken china," "to revive the color of black silk"), lists of seasonable foods by month, and a two-page summary of the Jewish calendar. A longer section titled "Hints for Housekeepers" suggests a weekly routine in detail. For Sunday dinner, Levy points out that "this is the day the husbands are at home, then something good must be prepared in honor of the lords of the household."
Most of the book consists of recipes, as expected, including some classics from Jewish cuisine. Macaroons, matzo cleis soup, German kouglauff (kugel), grimslechs (chremslachs), and "potato souffle, for Passover." Some recipes have apparently been adapted from American neighbors, such as macaroni, hominy fritters, and "ochre soup, or gumbo," which is reported to be "much used in the South." Throughout, Levy's recipes are more impressionistic than scientific (pepper pot soup: "in a pint and a half of water, put such vegetables as you wish . . . cut them very small and stew them with a couple of pounds of mutton and a piece of nice beef"), and the requirements of kashrut are strongly emphasized.
While Levy's work did not have a second edition in its time, it has been frequently reprinted in recent years, and some of the recipes have found their way into modern cookbooks. Bitting, Gastronomic Bibliography page 286; Brown, Culinary Americana 3992. Only one copy listed in OCLC.Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $11,250