Purity Cookbook

purity

Read this brave little reprint and realize what Canadian gastronomy sprang from. The 1967 edition of The All New Purity Cookbook was the latest of a sequence of competent promotional texts sponsored by the same company that began publishing them in 1917 and continued to do so through several editions until it amalgamated itself out of existence in 1961. From first page to last, the reader of this book is in a time warp. The recipes come from kitchens of a more homogeneously WASPy Canada, with instructions (despite the subtitle’s claim of completeness) for only six pages of vegetable dishes and preparations with such names as “Barbecued Supper Surprises” (chicken in foil steamed over coals, with veggies), “Cheese Dreams” (broiled, crustless bread fingers topped with cheese), or the politically incorrect “Chinese Chews” (date-nut bars rolled in confectioner’s sugar).

-Ted Whittaker

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