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Los Angeles: Capital of Culinary Diversity
Francisco's culinary chauvinism was on display in a Bohemian San
Francisco, the Landmarks Club Cookbook, published in 1903, argued that Los Angeles was
a culinary world power in its own right.
"While a few other
cities are as cosmopolitan as Los Angeles, no other city in the world is made
up of so many intelligent and well to do people so far from their old homes and from homes
so widely scattered," asserted the authors in the forward to the book, published to
raise funds for the Landmarks Club.Led by some of the most prominent civic leaders in Southern California,
the group was devoted to restoring the crumbling Spanish missions and other vestiges of
Californias past, with before and after pictures scattered among the recipes.
"Perhaps in proportion to population there is no other city in
whose households are in vogue so many varieties of cookery from so many lands and
localities. It is therefore a place where housewives may have a most cosmopolitan
comparing of notes," the forward continued. "Without going outside of their own
ward or their own social set, they may exchange recipes for English puddings, New England
pies, French sautes, Italian pastes, Swiss hassenpfeffer, Virginia cornpone, Mexican
chocolate in fine, the dishes of every land and from typical housekeepers
Apparently the housewives of turn-of-the-century Los Angeles were in
general agreement about the effect of baked cucumbers on the menfolk. The book proclaims
the following to be "a delicious dish which usually finds favor with the
Take cucumbers of fairly good sizesay six to eight
inches in length; cut them in two lengthwise and scoop out the inside, seeds and all, but
leave the outside shell whole and thick enough to be firm. Put the seeds and pulp into the
chopping bowl, and add salt and pepper, or green chile peppers chopped very fine; tomato
and bread crumbs; Chop all very find and mix well; fill each half shell, and put plenty of
butter in the stuffing and on top, so it will brown well. Bake in a hot oven for an hour.
The stuffing should be very hot in seasoning and the cooking thoroughly done.