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Dining at Monticello: In Good Taste and Abundance (Distributed for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation) Hardcover – May 4, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Was Thomas Jefferson a vegetarian? Maybe not, but he was an unusually moderate consumer of meat and ate a notable quantity and variety of vegetables. These and other facts are on display in this intriguing book, which will appeal to fans of Americana and culinary history. Fowler draws on Jefferson's family's personal letters, recipe manuscripts, accounts of food purchases and Jefferson's own notebook to reveal what eating was like during Jefferson's era at the famed Virginia manor. Culinary historian Fowler, author of five cookbooks, includes Jefferson's notes describing the 1,000-foot-long vegetable garden he designed, as well as other interesting tidbits, such as an explanation of what service "à la francaise" is, how scholars knew what to recreate in renovating Monticello's kitchen, and a description of the kinds of visitors Monticello hosted, from statesmen to scientists to socialites. The second half of the book contains recipes (the names of which are written in a hard-to-read script) from various sources relating to Jefferson's family, some penned by Jefferson himself. Only the most intrepid readers will actually try them, though: Forcemeat Balls, Mushroom Catsup, Creamed Cod, and Cabbage with Butter Sauce may be better off left in the history books.
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"Ambitious [and] beautiful."
Journal of Southern History
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Product Details

  • Series: Distributed for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Jefferson Foundation (December 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1882886259
  • ISBN-13: 978-1882886258
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 10.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By J. Maxwell on September 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
INCREDIBLE BOOK I AM PROUD TO OWN. THIS BEAUTIFUL BOOK, WITH ALL THE PHOTOGRAPHS IS FAR MORE THAN A COOKBOOK AS ITS HISTORICAL INFORMATION ALONE MAKES IT A MUST HAVE FOR MY LIBRARY. THIS IS ONE OF THE FEW BOOKS YOU CAN SAY GIVES YOU YOUR MONEY'S WORTH. YOU ARE IN FOR A VISUAL TREAT
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. A. Surovi on October 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I volunteer as a Foodways interpreter at a local Historic Plantation. This book is full of wonderful information and period receipts. It shares historical notes with each recipe and is loaded with history about Monticello, the availability of ingredients in Jefferson's time and the kitchen at his home. Each receipt could easily be used in an historical setting or in a home kitchen, with equally satisfying results. This book is a must have for history buffs, cooks and all points in between. The pictures and photographs alone are a feast for the eyes!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Life-long Learner/Reader on November 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is fantastic book. It is filled with history as well as practical and useful information for recreating the food of the past today, while retaining the spirit of how food tasted in Jefferson's day at Monticello. The photographs are intriguing. I only wish the mentioned campanion book by the late Karen Hess would soon, somehow, be available.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Johnathonti on August 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fascinating facts of life not only in late eighteen and nineteenth century America, but also details of Thomas Jefferson's favorite entrees, traditions, and dining habits.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Beach Gal on December 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is a delight for my collection. I adore history and love to cook and eat; this book "fits the bill" on all levels. Great photography and interesting recipes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Janigrey on October 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I adore this book. The essays written were supported in both footnote and photographs.
However - Mr. Fowler needed to be a more aggressive editor. I did not need to see the sentence "Dinner is server half Virginian, half French style, in good taste and abundance" by Daniel Webster - quote by nearly every writer that contributed. It detracted - enough that I began to read each section - seeking out the phrase. I was rarely disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Schuff on June 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you LOVE history and our Founding Fathers, you will totally enjoy this well-written book. The group of contributors have gone out of their way to keep the facts easily accessible. The background research was important to me, and will be perhaps to you too; extremely thorough. But the recipes...you can recreate them either totally then...or now! Thomas Jefferson was indeed a visionary. A MUST READ!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Correia on February 14, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found it to be more of a history book than anything else. It has everything a good history book should have. It not only contains primary sources (actual recipes) but it tells a story. It's not a typical cookbook, it's almost a narrative. Excellent!
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Dining at Monticello: In Good Taste and Abundance (Distributed for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation)
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