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