Atlas Obscura: A Database of 5,000 Historical Cookbooks Is Now Online, and You Can Help Improve It. “In July 2020, [Barbara Ketcham] Wheaton and a team of scholars, including two of her children, Joe Wheaton and Catherine Wheaton Saines, launched The Sifter. Part Wikipedia-style crowd-sourced database and part meticulous bibliography, The Sifter is a catalogue of more than a thousand years of European and U.S. cookbooks, from the medieval Latin De Re Culinaria, published in 800, to The Romance of Candy, a 1938 treatise on British sweets.”
Eater London: New Recipe Collection to Support BAME Covid-19 Victims Raises £10,000 in First Day. BAME stands for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic. “The author, activist, and Eater London contributor Riaz Phillips has launched a new digital recipe collection, with entries from over 100 cooks and writers from diasporic communities across the country. Community Comfort, which is available to download now for a minimum donation of £10, will donate all proceeds to the Majonzi COVID-19 Bereavement Fund in collaboration with the Ubele Initiative, which was set up by social commentator, Windrush campaigner, and cultural historian Patrick Vernon to support the communities disproportionately affected by the coronavirus crisis. Since the collection was made available for purchase yesterday, 9 July, it has been downloaded over 600 times, generating nearly £10,000 in under 24 hours.”
The Takeout: Largest archive of Mexican cookbook manuscripts available for consumption online. “If you love Mexican food and are curious about how it came to be, click right on over to the University of Texas-San Antonio library, which has digitized much of its extensive Mexican cookbook collection, including 48 handwritten manuscripts.”
Food & Wine: ‘Spotify for Cookbooks’ Just Launched a Kickstarter Campaign. “Ckbk, a new service calling itself the ‘Spotify of cookbooks’ and promising seamless digital access to the best cookbooks in the world, has launched its Kickstarter campaign today. The online database (and, eventually, mobile app) boasts 100,000 recipes, and was built with guidance from acclaimed chefs and cookbook authors like Nigella Lawson, Yotam Ottolenghi, and Fergus Henderson.”
Toronto Metro: Cooking on the cloud: New website makes Nova Scotia recipes available for free. “As the temperature falls and more time is spent in kitchens, a new online initiative is being launched to help people easily find local tried and true recipes. On Monday, Halifax Public Libraries and Formac Publishing of Halifax officially launch the Cloud Cookbooks website. The site allows recipe seekers to access more than 3,000 recipes from 40 local cookbooks.” Over 60 different chowder recipes!
BBC World Service: The 85-year-old woman who wants to collect every recipe in the world. “Harvard Food Historian Barbara Ketcham-Wheaton is trying to collect every cookbook ever published in Europe and the U.S. in order to compile an online digital database of recipes she’s calling The Sifter. Her ultimate goal is to gather recipes from all over the world in the hope it will reveal the global patterns in cooking over time. She talks to the BBC’s Emily Thomas.” This is audio-only, to which I do not usually link, but it’s glorious, so I’m breaking my own rule.
The Guardian: Social media and the great recipe explosion: does more mean better?. “Recipes are amazing things, somewhere between magic potions and passports to a different way of living. They take dishes that belong to one cook and teleport them to another. It used to be that dishes moved at the same pace as human beings themselves – very slowly, as populations migrated from one place to another. When printed cookbooks became common, recipes were able to travel more widely. But it’s only now that recipe sharing has gone fully global.” The headline makes the topic seem a bit thin, but the article is interesting and pithy.