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Vintage California Cuisine: 300 Recipes from the First Cookbooks Published in the Golden State


Seasonal Chef Bookstore's
Culinary History Section

The Heretic's Feast: A History of Vegetarianism

By Colin Spencer


Practical Vegetarian
Eastern religions led some toward a meatless diet

The Inner Man: Good Things
to Eat and Drink and Where
to Get Them
The author of this book thought vegetarians would pay for the folly of their eating habits some day.

Vintage Recipes Home Page
Culinary History Bookstore

Safety Fears Led Some to Cut Flesh From Their Diet

E.G. Fulton’s Vegetarian Cook Book: Substitutes for Flesh Foods offers a mixed message about the degree of interest in a meatless diet prevailing in the United States circa 1910.

On one hand, he asserted in the introduction, "The advantages of a vegetarian diet are no longer a matter of experiment.


Vegetarian Cook Book: Substitutes for Flesh Foods

Nut and Potato Roast
Bean and Nut Loaf

The prevalence of disease among animals is leading hundreds of men and women to avoid flesh foods and to turn to the more natural diet of nuts, grains, fruits and vegetables."

On the other hand, the names of many of the recipes in the book suggested that a craving for meat wasn’t far beneath the surface. Many of the dishes are named after meats. There is "mock whitefish," "fillets of vegetarian salmon," "vegetarian sausage," "vegetarian hamburger steak" and "mock chicken soup," to name several.

The chief replacements for meat in the book are nuts. More than half of the recipes call for various kinds of processed nut foods (which must have been familiar to readers in 1910 since they aren’t described) called protase, nuto cero, nuttolene, nut loaf and nut gravy. Protase and nuto cero, which apparently are interchangeable, can be eaten cooked or raw, sliced, mashed or mixed with other ingredients, and they can be served with chili sauce or lemon, Fulton wrote.

Protase and nuto cero are no longer on the market, at least not under those names. But the following two recipes, which call for plain chopped walnuts, would be easy for a modern chef to replicate.

Nut and Potato Roast

Raw potato, large, 1
Walnut meats, 1 cup
Break crumbs, 1 cup
Eggs 2
Butter, size of walnut
Onion, small 1
Hot water, 1 cup
Tomatoes, strained one pint

Grind the walnut meats, onion and raw potato through a vegetable mill and mix with hot water, bread cubes, eggs, butter and salt. Make a layer in the center of a granite pan, and pour over the hot strained tomatoes. Bake in a medium oven for one hour, basting occasionally with the tomato. If it is liable to burn on top, it should be covered.

Bean and Nut Loaf

White beans, 1 cup
Onion, cup
Bread crumbs, toasted, or granola
Walnuts, chopped, 1 cup
Egg, 1

Thoroughly wash the beans and soak overnight. Boil thoroughly and when done rub through a colander. Add the chopped walnuts, eggs, onion braised in olive oil, sage and salt to taste. Thicken with granola or toasted bread crumbs. Put into an oiled pan and bake. Serve with gravy.

Copyright 2005 Seasonal Chef