Shinsen hocho no kakehashi [Newly Selected Kitchen Knife Ladder].

One double-page & nine full-page illus. in the text. 90 folding leaves. Large 8vo, orig. patterned wrappers, modern stitching. Osaka: 1803.

First edition of one of the best and most influential recipe books of its period, written for wealthy homes. The author follows the cooking philosophy of Yuan Kitamura, who invented or codified many recipes in the early 18th century. A series of the recipes are still used today: using dashi to make broth, and how to make many kinds of soy sauce, vinegar, and miso. Sugino discusses when to use which kind of soy sauce or vinegar or miso for different preparations. The bulk of the book is an alphabetically arranged encyclopedia of cooking recipes. The author provides much on the philosophy behind the correct selection for various dishes for many kinds of meals, ranging from the most simple to the most complicated meals for entertaining purposes.

The title is a rather poetic way of saying there are many new recipes. The “knife ladder” reference suggests the special respect the knife has in Japanese culture and cuisine.

One of the particularly fine woodcuts is a double-page illustration of Kitamura at rest. The others depict elaborate serving ware.

Fine and fresh copy. Several small marginal wormholes and a few wormholes in text very expertly repaired. Preserved in a chitsu.

Price: $3,500.00

Item ID: 6911

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