Ottoman Cookbook

آشجى باشى طوسون  (Aşçıbaşı Mahmud Nedim bin Tosun i. e. Master Chef Tosun)

أوده آشجى قادين ياخود مكمل يمك كتابى

[Evde Aşcı Kadın yahud Mükemmel Yemek Kitabı / The Home Chef or the Perfect Cookbook]

Istanbul: آمدى مطبعه سى  [Amedî Matbaası] 1927

8°: 339 pp., 16 pp., original illustrated wrappers, unbound as originally published (minor staining and foxing, soft folds in corners, spine with tiny loss of paper, otherwise in a good, partly uncut condition).

A famous cookbook in Ottoman language, known as “the last page of the Ottoman and the first page of the new Turkish cuisine”.

A book with hundreds of cooking recipes in Ottoman language, accompanied with French titles, was published in the Turkish Republic in 1927, in Ottoman script.

The recipes include various dishes from starters, soups, meat, fish (sole, anchovies, salmon,…), vegetable and egg dishes to deserts, including sorbets and ice-creams, marzipan, coffee dishes, fruit desserts etc. As some recipes seem to be made of simple ingredients and can be prepared quickly, the others, more sophisticated, require professional skills.

Most of the recipes are accompanied with French titles, as the Ottoman language did not have its own names for the dishes, known mostly in the west.  

Not much is known about the author Mahmud Nedim bin Tosun, Aşçıbaşı or the Master Cheft, as he calls himself. He was probably of Cretan origins and was at wone point employed by the army. In the introduction he admits, that as a child he helped his mother in the kitchen and the latest articles, intended mostly for female readers, were exceedingly helpful to his profession.

This is the second edition published in 1927. The first edition was issued in 1919.

We could find four institutional examples (Boğaziçi University Library, Harvard University, Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden, KOÇ University Library).

References: OCLC 1030090957, 1030090957, 1030090957. ÖZEGE; 5257. Cf. Uroš Urošević, Cooking in the Times of Change: Mahmud Nedim bin Tosun’s Aşçıbaşı and the Ottoman Cuisine between Asia and Europe, From Kebab to Ćevapčići, 2018.

550 EUR