The Most Famous Cookbook with No Library Holdings
The Moosewood Cookbook: Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant in the Dewitt Mall, Ithaca, New York
Notes: The most famous American cookbook for which there are no recorded copies of the first printing in any library. This is the rare fragile, self-published first edition, published in an edition of just 800 copies.
The Moosewood Cookbook, perhaps more than any other cookbook, brought vegetarian, whole-food cooking into American homes. It is a landmark American cookbook that has been inducted into the James Beard Foundation's Cookbook Hall of Fame, and Mollie Katzen's papers are at the Smithsonian, alongside Julia Child's. The Moosewood Restaurant opened in Ithaca, NY in 1973, as a collectively owned business. Katzen was one of the co-founders of the collective and by far its most prominent (former) member. In 1974, the restaurant began selling a modest comb-bound cookbook. After successfully selling several thousand copies from the restaurant, Ten Speed Press acquired the publishing rights and produced a new edition for a national audience. With every edition, Katzen added, revised, and removed recipes. Total sales now exceed four million copies. (The authorship of the Moosewood Cookbook has been a source of some controversy. At present, Katzen is credited as the sole author of current edition of the book, despite its collective origin. The collective is credited as the author of Moosewood cookbook sequels).
Katzen described the origins of the cookbook in her introduction to the 40th anniversary edition:
"Requests for recipes became routine, and I regularly found myself sitting down after a shift, jotting down approximations of the dishes. Eventually, I put together a series of pages, combining these after-shift notations with material from my own personal illustrated recipe journals. Backing from a neighboring independent bookstore ("McBooks") afforded the photocopying of a few hundred copies, which where then hand-collated and bound with plastic spiral spines, one at a time. Eight hundred copies of the resulting booklet sold out in a week. Second and third printings totaled another 4000 or so copies."
The first and later printings are not indicated, but can be easily differentiated. The first printing is printed on one side of each sheet only, with the last page number being 55, followed by two unnumbered leaves (sic, there are actually 70 leaves; see below). The copyright statement is found on the last leaf, "MOOSEWOOD COOKBOOK, 1974: Copyright applied for. (thanks, Mollie!)". The second and later self-published versions are printed on both sides of the paper, with the last page numbered 79, and the copyright statement set in type on the title page. The copyright filing (approved in 1976) is for the 79-page version.
All copies recorded on OCLC are described as having 79 pages, including the Library of Congress copy, indicating a later printing. This first printing collates (in detail): , 1–12, [1 (salads section divider)], 13–20, [1 (entrées section divider)], 21–41, [2 (sauces & sandwich fillings section divider; cashew-ginger and orange-herb-wine sauces)], 43–47, [1 (broiled openface sandwich)], [1 (deserts section divider)], 49–55, [2 (postward)] leaves.
Edition + Condition: First edition (first printing, numbered to 55 and printed on one size of each sheet only). Good only. As is typical of these cookbooks, this one has been used and has stains on the covers and on some of the interior pages.
Publication: Ithaca, NY: Moosewood Collective, 1974.
Item No: #362469