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article imageMrs. Charles Darwin's recipe book published

By Chris V. Thangham     Dec 25, 2008 in Food
A book of recipes by Mrs. Charles Darwin is now available to the public for the first time from Cambridge University Library. Forget the theory of evolution; what about the theory behind Penally Pudding?
Mrs. Charles Darwin’s Recipe Book has more than 40 dishes from her personal notebook, which is housed in Cambridge University Library. has the following description about this recipe book:
More than a cookbook, the Mrs. Charles Darwin's Recipe Book delineates a lifestyle at the top of English society and intelligentsia at the time. This treasure trove that includes unlikely dishes such as Turnips Cresselly and Penally Pudding contains, even, another cook evident in the work: The recipe for boiling rice is in Charles Darwin's own hand. The image of Darwin standing over a pot of boiling water with his pocket watch in hand, is one to savor, along with every other vestige of a lost kitchen and lifestyle come back to life here.
The authors of the book, Dusha Bateson and Weslie Janeway, tried out every one of Mrs. Darwin’s recipes before writing this collection.
One commenter wrote said it has a good amount of decadent and luxurious desserts.
The proceeds from the book published by the Cambridge University Library will be used to fund research and for the publication of Mrs. Darwin’s letters.
Adam Perkins, curator of scientific manuscripts at Cambridge University Library told BBC:
"His (Charles Darwin's) theory of evolution by natural selection is one of the most important in the history of science and we are still studying everything he wrote.
"But it's an expensive process and requires skilled people, so continued funding of the project is vital."
Charles Darwin is a famous alumnus of Cambridge University; he attended their Christ’s College between 1828 and 1831.
The recipe book contains the photos of original recipes, photos of finished dishes and personal anecdotes courtesy of Mrs. Darwin.
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