Receipts and recipes

I’ve noticed in Cornbread Nation 1: The Best of Southern Food Writing that some food historians use receipt for recipe.

So why is this? Is it just because receipt is an older word? Is it because it shows up more often in their primary sources? Or is it mainly a shibboleth so that food historians can recognize each other?



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3 responses to “Receipts and recipes

  1. knobody

    when i joined marshall’s family i was given a copy of Charleston Receipts, a necessary item for a proper long-time charleston family. from page 4:

    Throughout this book, as you will see,
    We never mention recipe,–
    The reason being that we felt,
    (Though well aware of how it is spelt!),
    That it is modern and not meet
    To use in place of old receipt
    To designate time-honored dishes
    According to ancestral wishes.

    so, the more recent usage of receipt could just be a southern thing. southerners are proud of their history and loathe to give up traditions, so giving up receipt in favor of recipe may have simply taken longer here.

  2. tealfroglette

    ooo oh oh. i will have to get my mother’s recipe for Spelt spinach soup and write it up with receipt somehow in there. that poem is great!

  3. shlafe

    I don’t think it’s just a southern thing. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it among my very northern family’s recipes…

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