Back To School,  Baking,  Cooking,  Culinary History,  Food History,  History,  Kitchen

Fannie Farmer and the Boston Cooking School

As I mentioned in my last post, the Boston Cooking School was the first official cooking school to open its doors in America. The school was founded in 1879 as a place to train cooks and teach women the basics of good cooking. Tuition was kept low and a woman could sign up for a series of classes. Lectures and demonstrations were also given. Besides cooking, lectures on nutrition, human anatomy and domestic science were offered in order to help women understand the value of good food for their families.

One of the most famous graduates of the Boston Cooking School was Fannie Farmer. She was considered one of the school’s top students and eventually went on to become the principal in 1891. In 1896, she published the Boston Cooking School Cook Book which became the best known cookbook during that time. It later became known as the Fannie Farmer cookbook. Fannie Farmer served as principal of the school almost until her death. The Boston Cooking School stayed open until the mid-1940s when it eventually became part of Simmons College.

One of the unique features of the Fannie Farmer cookbook at the time of its publication, was the use of precise measurements. The cookbook helped to standardize cooking measurements to make it easier for all cooks and bakers to have the same outcomes! If you are interested in taking a look at the original cookbook, here is a link!

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