February 22, 2007

Foodservice Cookbooks

It can be a challenge to collect old advertising cookbooks that were printed specifically for the foodservice industry.

These specialized recipe booklets from many of the major food brands do exist but they are not as easy to find as the consumer booklets.

Many of the products advertised are shown in the different package sizes that are needed for cooking in large quantities. Other products might be unfamiliar because they were unavailable to the home cook. These foodservice items were purchased from wholesale distributors rather than the supermarkets.

One example of this type booklet is the Album of Jellied Salads and Aspics (1955, 20 pp). This is a lovely booklet promoting Jell-O and Genesee gelatins which was published by the Institutional Products Division of General Foods.

The seven flavors of Jell-O Gelatin Dessert were available in 1-1/2 pound and 4-1/2 pound packages. Genesee Plain Gelatin and Jiffy-Gel Plain Gelatin were available in 1 pound canisters.

Restaurant operators were cautioned not to use the trademarked name of Jell-O on their menus unless they were serving the real thing.

The salads and aspics made with these recipes look familiar. They are of the type that one would typically find in cafeterias, diners, the Woolsworth lunch counters and other restaurants.

If you're looking to complete your collection of cookbooks published by a particular manufacturer, don't overlook these foodservice booklets. The fact that they are a bit more scarce makes the hunt that much more fun!

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