A cider maker in Richmond, Virginia, USA is recreating a nearly 300-year-old recipe from the Virginia Historical Society’s collection. Officials say Blue Bee Cider chose a “cyder” recipe from a 1742 edition of “The Compleat Housewife” book.
The rare book is part of the Virginia Historical Society’s collection and is known to be the first cookbook published in America. It contains recipes for preparing and preserving food, brewing, and medicine, along with housekeeping advice.
Officials hope the experimental cider will create a thirst for history and stir up further interest in its “History On Tap” program. A ticketed event to taste the historic cider is scheduled for April 21.
The Virginia Historical Society is a privately funded non-profit organization that collects, preserves and interprets the state’s history.
“The Compleat Housewife, or Accomplish’d Gentlewoman’s Companion, written by Eliza Smith and originally published in London, England in 1727, is considered the first cookbook ever to be published in the United States. The Compleat Housewife contained not only recipes, but also directions for painting rooms, removing mildew, and home remedies for treating ailments, such as smallpox.
The Compleat Housewife was published in the United States for the first time in 1742, by Williams Parks, a Williamsburg, Virginia, printer. He printed and sold the cookbook, believing that there was a strong market for it with Virginia housewives who wished to be current with the London fashion.”