You Can Now Access Thousands of Rare, Vintage Cookbooks Online – for Free!!

Cooking is something almost all of us have to do on a daily-ish basis. We have to feed ourselves and our families, and unless we’re fortunate enough to be able to afford a cook or food that’s otherwise prepared by someone else, cooking at home is part of life.

We can get stuck in ruts, though, with the same recipes over and over. No one wants to try anything new, or we just can’t think about stepping out of the comfort zone of our familiar and family recipes, and even Pinterest can seem played out after a while.

If you’re looking for a little adventure in your kitchen, or are into cooking vintage recipes for fun, you’re in luck – there are over 10,000 old cookbooks online, and the recipes are all free.

These rare recipes are available in the Cookbooks and Home Economics collection of the Internet Archive, and run the gamut from European recipe collections to promotional Gelatin recipes – any time or place you can think of, and you can uncover a cookbook full of potential goodness.

You can learn a lot about humans and their history by reading through recipes from the past. There are whole cookbooks dedicated to feeding bachelors that contain recipes like Queen Victoria’s Toasted Cheese (it includes alcohol!), and for new brides that would be doing all of the shopping and cooking during WWI.

Though the cookbooks were American, you can definitely see the lines of immigration in many of the recipes – the first American cookbook, American Cookery (published in 1796), contained many English recipes that would have been familiar to colonists as fare from home.

It’s also possible to see prejudice and racism in the recipes, so anyone who thinks something like a cookbook couldn’t tell them something about the history of a culture should think again.

Image Credit: Bride’s Cookbook

You should scroll through these recipes because they’re interesting as well as the possibility that you might find something different to try for dinner.

And hey, if you do try some of these and end up finding a gem? Please come back and share it with us in the comments!