The Universal Cook


Originally published in 1773, this interesting piece of culinary history is claimed by the author to be "the perfect and complete system of cookery... containing everything that is valuable in every Book of the kind hitherto published." Recipes include puddings, pies, custards, and other desserts, in addition to "ragoos", soups and broths. Also includes information on period pickling and conservation techniques, directions for roasting and boiling as well as laundry hints. Softback more than 300 pages of facsimile text.

Made in USA

Item # C-7005

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Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
Austin C.
Just what I wanted

This cookbook is exactly what I was hoping to find to start off my 18th c. Cooking adventure. Easy to read, once I refamilurized myself with the letter " the long-S", and I use it at least twice a month since I bought it in 2021.

5/5 stars here!

As expected, a very nice product.

A note on smudging: Its not that bad at all! The text within is a scanned-replica of a much older physical (circa 1772?) copy of this book. Thus any smudging of the text is a result of the actual imperfections of printing that existed during that historical period or a bit of 'background' that comes from digitizing old paper. It's not a defect in quality on the part of the seller or printer. As an amateur genealogist I've read many documents preserved this way on microfilm or digital copies and so I found even the smudged portions very easy to read.
Someone less experienced with reading old texts will have no problem reading this either. I'm sure because the 'background' or 'smudging' is very little and far between. At most, an older person might whip out a magnifying glass or have to pause to consider the odd word or two for a moment.
That said I found that the vast majority of the text has NO smudging/ background AT ALL, at least in my copy. In a few places the printer/seller has replaced the 'digitized' original text with modern type, possibly because the original was too damaged to read. This to me shows a careful and considered attempt to balance the original 'feel' of the manuscript with the basic necessity of having readable type.
I make a point of this because I have greatly enjoyed Townsend and sons youtube videos and wanted to support them with a purchase of this book but was given pause by other reviews. My faith in the seller was rewarded.

Smudged typing

The recipes in this book are great but the ink and type set are off and difficult to read. I was expecting something of better quality.