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HomePlant Based FoodGluten Free A-Z : The Gilded Age Cookbook: A Review

Gluten Free A-Z : The Gilded Age Cookbook: A Review


Curiously, when I looked at the author’s bio on Amazon, I noticed that Becky Diamond lives Yardley, Pennsylvania which is the same very small town where I have resided for the past 35 years (excluding our snowbird winter months in Florida since retirement).  

Her bio on Amazon: 

“Becky Libourel Diamond is a food writer, librarian, and research historian. She has been writing about food since 2008, parlaying her passion for food and history into the publication of The Thousand Dollar Dinner and Mrs. Goodfellow: The Story of America’s First Cooking School. She lives in Yardley, Pennsylvania.”

Cookbooks often serve as portals to different eras, cultures, and flavors. The Gilded Age Cookbook is one such treasure that takes us into the lavish world of late 19th-century America and to the culinary delights that frequented the tables of the wealthy elite during this fascinating period in American history.

The recipes span a wide variety of dishes suitable for every occasion,  modernized for today’s kitchen. The recipes reflect the dishes served at extravagant dinner parties, ladies luncheons, afternoon teas, Gilded Age beach clambakes, and Gilded Age formal balls. 

Becky Libourel Diamond
Becky Libourel Diamond 

The most unusual recipe I viewed was for Rabbit, Hunter Style. Thankfully, the actual recipe was re-created by a Philadelphia chef to make it suitable for today’s cooks. Another more unusual recipe was for Lobster Fricassee

The more recognizable recipes included lobster salad, Waldorf salad, strawberry shortcake, chocolate cake, chicken croquettes, steamed halibut with egg sauce, cornmeal potato muffins etc.

I made a tasty cucumber salad recipe titled,  Dutch Cucumbers which was a family recipe passed down by the author’s grandmother from that era which began in the early 1870’s. The author refers to it as “a tangy salad with a hint of sweetness.” We enjoyed it!

What truly sets “The Gilded Age Cookbook” apart is its attention to detail. Each recipe is accompanied by historical anecdotes, historical photos, and insights, providing information that enriches ones culinary experience. 

Although the book has an extensive bibliography, it lacks a recipe index which would make it easier to find the recipes. Beautiful photos of the recipes and historical photos are plentiful and colorful. The recipe directions are well written, easy to follow, and the recipes look fairly easy to make.

A beautifully designed and well written book, The Gilded Age Cookbook would be a joy for anyone interested in food, food history,  and the particulars of the exciting Gilded Age of America! 

More About the Author

Becky Libourel Diamond is a food writer, librarian and research historian who specializes in reconstructing historical recipes. She has collaborated with several chefs and food groups to recreate historic dinners, including Marc Vetri’s Osteria restaurant in Philadelphia, Chef Adam Diltz of Elwood Restaurant in Philadelphia, COOK (a demonstration kitchen in Philadelphia) and Edible History Supper Club in New York City.

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