William Kitchiner

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William Kitchiner
WmKitchiner detail.jpg
Portrait of Kitchiner
Born 1775
England
Died 1827 (aged 51–52)
London, England
Resting place
St Clement Danes, City of Westminster, London
Nationality British
Known for Cook's Oracle, potato chip, creator of Wow-Wow sauce

William Kitchiner M.D. (1775–1827) was an English optician, inventor of telescopes, amateur musician and exceptional cook. His name was a household word during the 19th century, and his 1822 cookbook, The Cook's Oracle, was a bestseller in England and the United States. In the United Kingdom, the origin of the potato chip is attributed to Kitchiner, with The Cook's Oracle including the earliest known recipe.[1][2]

Unlike most food writers of the time he cooked the food himself, washed up afterwards, and performed all the household tasks he wrote about. He travelled around with his portable cabinet of taste, a folding cabinet containing his mustards and sauces. He was also the creator of Wow-Wow sauce.

The Cook's Oracle[edit]

The full title of The Cook's Oracle was Apicius Redivivus, or the Cook's Oracle. It is also listed as The Cook's Oracle: Containing receipts for plain cookery on the most economical plan for private families, etc. It includes eleven ketchup recipes, including two each for mushroom, walnut and tomato ketchups, and one each for cucumber, oyster, cockle and mussel ketchups.

The book contains what may be one of the earliest references to potato chips, in a recipe for "Potatoes fried in Slices or Shavings", which instructs the reader to "peel large potatoes, slice them about a quarter of an inch thick, or cut them in shavings round and round, as you would peel a lemon; dry them well in a clean cloth, and fry them in lard or dripping".[1][2]

Other books[edit]

  • The Invalid’s Oracle
  • The Housekeeper's Ledger
  • The Traveller's Oracle
  • The Art of Invigorating and Prolonging Life
  • Horse and Carriage Keeper's Guide
  • The Pleasures of Making a Will
  • The Sea Songs of Charles Dibdin, ed.
  • books on singing and on choosing opera glasses.

Books about Kitchiner[edit]

  • Dr. Kitchiner and the Cook's Oracle - Elspeth Davies ISBN 1-872795-83-8
  • Dr William Kitchiner: the Cook's Oracle: Regency Eccentric - Tom Bridge, Colin Cooper English ISBN 1-870962-07-9

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Food and Drink. "'Crisps buoyed Britain in its darkest hour'". Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  2. ^ a b William Kitchiner (1822). The Cook's Oracle: Containing Receipts for Plain Cookery on the Most ... A. Constable & Company, Edinburgh, and Hurst, Robinson & Company, Cheapside. p. 208. 

External links[edit]