The Raleigh Cookbook. Raleigh, NC: Edwards & Broughton Printing, 1907. Issued by the Ladies’ Church Improvement Society of the First Baptist Church. Raleigh, NC 1907.

     The source is a cookbook published in 1907 named The Raleigh Cookbook, issued by the Ladies’ Church Improvement Society of the First Baptist Church. In this cookbook, there are a multitude of recipes, mostly of what would be considered typical “Southern food.” This cookbook holds a trove of information about the typical diet of a citizen living in Raleigh at the time. The book also includes tips for hostesses, as well as for the help and housekeepers. This shows that this particular book was geared towards wealthier families and housewives who entertained often and were wealthy enough to afford housekeepers. This cookbook also gives insight into the types of ingredients available at the time; many of the recipes include ingredients such as corn, potatoes, oysters, tomatoes, chicken, and salmon. The fact that these ingredients are used repeatedly throughout the cookbook demonstrates their common availability at the time. The back of the cookbook also includes advertisements for stores in Raleigh at the time, which shed a light onto what the authors of the book believed to be reputable stores for their readers to visit.

     Though this cookbook was published and is specific to Raleigh, its scope can be extended to also illustrate the Chapel Hill food story. First of all, Raleigh and Chapel Hill are less than thirty miles apart geographically, and Wake County was located adjacent to Orange County at the time, good indicators that the two regions were culturally similar. The cookbook was also issued by the First Baptist Church in Raleigh, making it an accurate measure for the demographic of Baptists in the state, which was the primary religion of North Carolina, and of course Chapel Hill, at the time [1]. This cookbook should be included in the Chapel Hill food story because it elucidates the diets of the people living at the time, and includes foods that were commonly available to citizens of Chapel Hill at the time. The cookbook also gives insight about the status of the citizens of Chapel Hill, particularly wealthier Baptists, and how they ran their households and even where they chose to shop.


[1] Tippett, Rebecca. “Religion in North Carolina.” Carolina Demography. June 2, 2014. Accessed October 6, 2018.

-Isabel Zhao