18th- & 19th-century recipes

The eyes of the Dutch nobility and middle class were set primarily on France, in the 18th- & 19th-centuries. What happened and was eaten over there was imitated in The Netherlands and other big parts of Europe. From the mid-18th-century onwards, a range of cookbooks by ‘kitchen maids’ came from the Dutch presses. The authors borrowed heavily from French cookbooks. Next to printed cookbooks, beautiful written recipe collections of noble ladies have survived history.

In 18th-century cookbooks, you will find 17th-century and even medieval influences, such as pies, sugar in savoury dishes and sham dishes (minced fish in the form of a ham or veal in the form of an eel). But there are also simpler dishes of the nouvelle cuisine, with fewer spices and especially less flaunting. The use of spices and green herbs decreased in the 18th-century and especially in the 19th-century. Food was flavoured only with pepper, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace and cloves.

Cookbooks from these centuries show many new dishes, ingredients and cooking techniques. The large numbers of (new) sweet recipes are interesting, like desserts, pastries, confectionery, jams and cookies. These recipes, in particular, make it an adventure to cook from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Try the dishes below that I have already rewritten for you for modern use. You find more recipes from the 18th– & 19th-century on my Dutch website or come and cook them with me during the Historical Cooking Week in the Provence. If you have difficulties to find some ingredients, check out this webshop.