The Historical Society Of Pennsylvania To Host A Civil War-Themed Tasting Event Featuring 19th Century Philadelphia Recipes, November 16

Food is an essential part of Philadelphia culture, and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania helps depict how this has always been the case throughout the city's history. (Photo courtesy Historical Society of Pennsylvania)

Intrigued by what the typical meal was like back in Civil War-era Philadelphia?

Find out and taste some of the food yourself at a special tasting event on November 16 at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

The society recently published a facsimile of an 1865 cookbook from its collection. This cookbook, with more than 200 recipes, was written by Philadelphia resident Ellen M. Emlen, a 19th-century Philadelphia housewife.

Emlen, born in 1814, organized the cookbook into 13 categories, which included meats, vegetables, sauces, food for the sick (seriously) and desserts. The book also includes tips passed down through Emlen’s family and recipes collected from her friends. This is truly a local historical treasure.

Now, on Wednesday, November 16, 6-7 p.m., you can learn the fascinating story behind the cookbook and even sample a few items. The $30 admission price includes a free copy of Ellen Emlen’s cookbook. The reprint of the Emlen cookbook is in Emlen’s own hand!

Note that the Ellen Emlen cookbook is only one of many historical cookbooks in the HSP’s collections. These will be on display for the November 16 event.

Register for the event online. If you’re unable to attend, you can pick up a copy of the book at HSP or online, for $19.99.

Civil War-Era Tasting: the Ellen Emlen cookbook
When: Wednesday, November 16, 6-7 p.m.
Where: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust Street
Cost: $30, includes free copy of cookbook
More info:


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