[Sca-cooks] A Cookie by Any Other Name

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Thu Jan 25 12:45:02 PST 2007

On Jan 25, 2007, at 2:49 PM, Elise Fleming wrote:

> Greetings!  It was posited that the cookie didn't appear until the  
> 1800s.
> So... when is a cookie not a cookie?  The instructions for  
> Shrewsbury cakes
> results in something that looks like a modern day cookie but it is  
> called a
> "cake".  While the word cookie might be OOP, did not a flat, thin,  
> round or
> otherwise-shaped crisp-ish thing made of flour, sugar and other  
> ingredients
> exist before then?
> Alys Katharine

Yes. It might be better to ask, "When is a cake a cookie?"

The popular wisdom is that the word "cookie" (or something like it)  
enters the English language officially with Amelia Simmons' "American  
Cookery", which source was published in England, too. The assumption  
is that the people of Nieuw Amsterdam had a Dutch tradition, later  
absorbed by the Americans, and eventually, the English, although they  
appear, overall, less likely to use the word "cookie".

I still say these Parliament cakes look a lot like some of the  
Lebkuchen recipes, and further suspect that if you got into a time  
machine and brought some Parlies back to various parts of 16th and  
17th century Europe, you'd probably find that many people would have  
a pretty good idea of what they were, even if they didn't recognize  
the name, or wanted to use honey in their own versions.


"S'ils n'ont pas de pain, vous fait-on dire, qu'ils  mangent de la  
brioche!" / "If there's no bread to be had, one has to say, let them  
eat cake!"
     -- attributed to an unnamed noblewoman by Jean-Jacques Rousseau,  
"Confessions", 1782

"Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy -- or go on Prozac?"
     -- Susan Sheybani, assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry  
Holt, 07/29/04

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list