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Cookbook Controversy

In response to:

Gospels of American Cooking from the April 8, 1965 issue

To the Editors:

Michael Field’s unqualified approval of the new version of The Joy of Cooking cannot be understood by one who has cooked from the first version until it disintegrated. I have three objections to the new version. First it omits some of the best recipes in the old book, e.g., chocolate fudge cake, apple sauce pudding. Second, a Teutonic passion for system leads to constant back references (“See page 536”) when the information referred to is scarce longer than the reference. Third, carelessness leads to inconsistencies such as in the recipe for Rolled Biscuits which says “Add: 2 to 6 tablespoons chilled butter…” while the prelude “About Hot Biscuits” says “Use shortening and liquids at a temperature of about 70 degrees.” Mind you, I agree that it’s still a pretty good book…but not nearly as good as it was.

Peter Moore

Hartsdale, New York

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