Skip to main content
About UsDisplayEventsExhibitionNewsReading & Writing

Books on the Menu for F.O.O.D. Week

By April 24, 2009No Comments

More than 85 people enjoyed the Books on the Menu: Australian cookbooks event hosted by Orange City Library on Wednesday night as part of F.O.O.D Week with special guest State Library of NSW curator Pat Turner (pictured) talking about and displaying rare cookbooks. Pat said the first known Australian cookbook broke away from the traditional English fare with a mix of some wonderful localised dishes with ingredients like black swan, emu, kangaroo and wombat. Cookbooks provide a fantastic social record of the time and document the impact of food on war, celebrations, the Great Depression, migration and new technology. For example, war cookbooks had recipes for meatless dishes because of meat rationing, and during the Depression cookbooks focused on preserving fruit and making jams because people were growing fruit in their own backyard (sounds like a good idea now). Guests at the event were able to put on white gloves and handle the rare cookbooks – some with colourful images and see an ANZAC Day commemoration menu from 1916. Other books on display included The Antipodean Cookbook (1897), the War Chest Cookery Book published in 1917 to raise money for the war efforts and Cooking the Chinese Way (1948) by Roy Geechoun  the first Australian book devoted to Chinese cooking. Guests also enjoyed local produce including figs, cheese, hummus dip, pumpkin and rosemary dip, blue cheese and pistachio dip, sausages, breads and a delicious country terrine. Thank you to everyone who came along and made it such a fantastic night. The Australian cookbooks State Library of NSW exhibition panels are on show during F.O.O.D. Week. Stay tuned for recipes from local foodies Libby West, Marcus Richards, Robert Thornberry and Maureen Pilcher who also spoke on the night.