Practical Italian Recipes for American Kitchens. Sold to Aid the Families of Italian Soldiers. [By Julia Lovejoy Cuniberti.]

Washington D.C.; Janesville, Wisconsin: Printed by Gazette Printing Co.], [1918].

Octavo-size booklet (25 x 15 cm.), 32 pages. Author from conclusion of Foreword (page 4). Place of publication and printer from Catalogue of Copyright Entries (new series, volume 15, part 1). Stated "Fifth Edition", though first issued in 1917. A charitable cookbook undertaken on behalf of Italian families after the harrowing retreat of the Italian army from the Julian Alps in 1917. In addition, one of the earliest cookbooks of any genre to introduce tenets of Italian cooking into American kitchens. With sixty recipes, presented in unusual detail with unusual care, emphasizing fruits and vegetables (“with a minimum of meats and sweets”). Included among the entries: Vegetable Chowder (Minestrone alla Milanese), Soup with Little Hats (Cappelletti all’uso di Romagna), Fried Celery (Sedano Fritto), Gnocchi of Farina (Gnocchi alla Romana), Spaghetti alla Napolitana, Ravioli with Meat (Ravioli alla Genovese), Codfish Stufato (Stufato di Baccalà), Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco, Dolce di Castagne). There is North-American culinary history here, too. An early instance of the Italian variation on Persian eggplant was contributed by a chef from the Chicago restaurant Roma Pavilion: Baked Eggplant with Cheese (Tortino di Melanzana alla Parmigiana). ~ “The housewives of the old world have much to teach us in thrift, especially in the kitchen. Italian cooking – not that of the large hotel or restaurant, but the cucina casalinga of the roadside hostelry and the home where the mother, or some deft handmaid, trained in the art from infancy, is priestess at the tiny charcoal stove – is at once so frugal and so delicious that we do well to study it with close attention.” Julia Susan Lovejoy (Mrs. Fernando) Cuniberti (1888-1987), originally from Janesville, Wisconsin, was the wife of a diplomat attached to the Italian embassy in Washington, D. C. She knew whereof she wrote, having spent a number of years in the region of her husband’s birth, Pavullo nel Frignano in the central province of Modena. Donations from the sale of the cookbook were channeled through the embassy to war relief agencies in Italy; some later printings amend the preface to clarify that funds were directed to help refugee children and orphanages. ~ Printed on fine laid rag paper, with the watermark Alexandra. Stapled in green paper wrappers bearing a white label with red lettering. A reading copy only, very worn, but with all text present and legible. This book remains scarce when it does appear on the market, tends to be very expensive, so we offer this humble, but complete copy. [OCLC locates three copies of the first printing from late 1917 (and thirteen copies of subsequent printings issued over several months beginning February 1918); Bitting, page 110; Brown 4383; not in Cagle].

Price: $200.00