February 14th: Whether you love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is a holiday that brings out strong sentiments. The flurry of gift-, flower-, card-, and candy-exchanging observed today is, in fact, nothing new— a rise of the American middle class in the mid-19th century brought these traditions and customs to the fore. Food, and especially candy and confectionery items, became inextricably tied to Valentine’s Day after the American Civil War, when the U.S. economy witnessed a decrease in the price of sugar and a subsequent rise of the confectionery industry.
The John Crerar Library is home to a veritable treasure trove of cookbooks, both vintage and modern. This Valentine’s Day, we have chosen to highlight some of the library’s more “vintage” confectionery cookbooks. To the left, you will find two recipes selected directly from our turn-of-the-century holdings, and below, the products of these recipes made nearly a century after their original publication.
More from these cookbooks:
More at The University of Chicago Library: