Quotations, sayings and aphorisms about food & beverages, eating & drinking and pleasures of the table

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Cookbook Quotes
Cookery Books Quotes

"When we decode a cookbook, every one of us is a practicing chemist. Cooking is really the oldest, most basic application of physical and chemical forces to natural materials."
Arthur E. Grosser (Professor of Chemistry at McGill University) NYT 5/29/1984

“The biggest seller is cookbooks and the second is diet books — how not to eat what you've just learned how to cook.”
Andy Rooney

“A consistent curiosity of cookbooks is that subsequent editions are almost always longer than earlier versions. It seems that no one ever shortens a cookbook.”
Mark Kurlansky, 'Choice Cuts' (2002)

“Every year the number of new cookbooks increases, but in spite of them the progress made in this most useful of the arts is not ever overpowering. On the contrary, we must regretfully admit that nowadays people no longer prepare the fine and nourishing dishes that our mothers used to make.”
Anna Dorn, Cookbook Author (1834)

“It is not, in fact, cookery books that we need half so much as cooks really trained to a knowledge of their duties.”
Eliza Acton, ‘Modern Cookery for Private Families’ (1845)

"Cook-books have always intrigued and seduced me. When I was still a dilettante in the kitchen they held my attention, even the dull ones, from cover to cover, the way crime and murder stories did."
The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book’ (1954)

“In 1896, when she [Fannie Farmer] published her Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, she for all time took a great deal of the fun out of cookbooks by insisting that recipes were scientific and not an artistic expression.....Every recipe was to be a formula which began with a list of ingredients.”
Mark Kurlansky, 'Choice Cuts' (2002)

"Half the cookbooks tell you how to cook the food and the other half tell you how to avoid eating it."
Andy Rooney

"I did toy with the idea of doing a cook-book. . . . I think a lot of people who hate literature but love fried eggs would buy it if the price was right."
Groucho Marx, ‘Groucho and Me’ (1959)

"I could write a better book of cookery than has ever been written; it should be a book upon philosophical principles. Pharmacy is now made much more simple. Cookery may be made so too. A prescription which is now compounded of five ingredients, had formerly fifty in it. So, in cookery, if the nature of the ingredients be well known, much fewer will shall see what a book of cookery I shall make!"
Samuel Johnson

"Americans, more than any other culture on earth, are cookbook cooks; we learn to make our meals not from any oral tradition, but from a text. The just-wed cook brings to the new household no carefully copied collection of the family's cherished recipes, but a spanking new edition of ‘Fannie Farmer’ or ‘The Joy of Cooking’."
John Thorne, American food writer

“Anyone who eats three meals a day should understand why cookbooks outsell sex books three to one.”
L. M. Boyd

“A combination of the qualities of the scholar, the master cook, the painter, the gastronomer, the sportsman and the pantologist, assisted by the skill of the bookmaker and etcher, will be required to compose the cookbook par excellence.”
George Ellwanger (1848-1906) ‘Pleasures of the Table’ (1902)

“As if a cookbook had anything to do with writing.”
Alice B. Toklas, American writer (1877-1967)
‘The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book’ (1954)


“Central heating, French rubber goods and cookbooks are three amazing proofs of man's ingenuity in transforming necessity into art, and, of these, cookbooks are perhaps most lastingly delightful.”
M.F.K. Fisher (1908-1992) ‘Serve It Forth’ (1937)

“Women can spin very well, but they cannot write a good book of cookery.”
Dr Samuel Johnson, ‘The Life of Samuel Johnson’ by James Boswell (1791)  (See also Fannie Farmer)


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