Maria Parloa

Maria Parloa was born in Massachusetts in 1843 and died in 1909 having written some thirteen cookbooks, published many pamphlets and delivered thousands of lectures. She was an early adopter of the now widespread practice of product endorsement, often using the products of specific companies in her recipes.

The first recorded lecture that she gave was on Cooking and Digestion in 1876 in New London in Connecticut (Mary J Lincoln, 1910).

She established the Miss Parloa's School of Cookery at 174 Tremont Street, just opposite the Boston Common, in 1877. (Note that this is not the same as the Boston Cooking School at 158 Tremont St that was established by the Womens Educational Association in 1879, two years after Maria Parloa established her school. Confusingly, Maria Parloa also often lectured at the Boston Cooking School and had a strong influence on the thoughts and practices of its first principal Mary Lincoln.)

She was popular on the lecture circuit and in the following year even toured England and France, where she no doubt gained inspiration from the culinary scene in those countries.

On her return to the United States in 1879 she published an unheralded book called First Principles of Household Management and Cookery which included some discussion on the chemistry of food, thus making her an early adopter of the scientific approach to cooking. Her subsequent books also reflected her interest in this topic.

She left Boston and moved to New York to open a school of her own near the East Village.

Among the other books that she wrote were The Appledore Cook Book (published in 1872), Camp Cookery (1878) and a book written especially for the flour company General Mills.

She was also a long term columnist for the influential Ladies' Home Journal which we believe she may also have partly owned.

The Cookbook Collection entry

The review of the entry for this author in The Food Lovers' Cookbook Collection can be read by clicking on the following link:

Miss Parloa's New Cookbook: A Guide to Marketing and Cooking

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