Having spent many happy hours sleuthing the sources of historic recipes, we were interested to read Priya Krishna's "Who Owns a Recipe? A Plagiarism Claim Has Cookbook Authors Asking" in the New York Times recently. The story covers many aspects of this currently controversial issue. But as with much food journalism, it truncates the historical dimension of the subject. "Recipe plagiarism has been around since the first American cookbooks" reads the caption to a picture in the article of renowned bookseller Bonnie Slotnick.
Well, plagiarism in English-language cookbooks has been around a lot longer than Simmons and American Cookery. Like so many aspects of American culinary culture, even this nefarious practice was imported from elsewhere. Read More