Culinary History for Lunch

How does Friday lunch at the Library of Congress sound?

A unique culinary event takes place tomorrow in the LOC's Madison Building, where 200 books from the general collection will be on display, all food related, and much of it historically significant.

In addition, says librarian Connie Carter, a selection of rare books will be made available, including the first known published cookbook, dating to 1475, and an important work written and illustrated by Bartolomeo Scappi, the private cook to Pope Pius V, in 1574.

The ingredient to tie this soup together is culinary historian Barbara Haber, who will give a talk entitled, "Women's History and Food History: New Ways of Seeing American Life." Haber, the former curator of the Schlesinger library of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, will also be available to sign copies of her book, "From Hardtack to Home Fries: An Uncommon History of American Cooks and Meals."

Carter promises that snacks and refreshments, made from historic recipes from the library's cookbook collection, will be served.

Be there or be a stale biscuit, is what I say. Haber is a treasure trove of women's and culinary history and is delightful to listen to. Race you to the front door!

The details: Friday, Aug. 11, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., in the Mumford Room, 6th floor, Madison Building, Library of Congress (101 Independence Avenue SE). Carter suggests arriving early, as entry into the LOC requires going through a security line.

By Kim ODonnel |  August 9, 2006; 10:33 PM ET Culinary Education
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