FANNIE MERRIT FARMER Born 1857, d. 1915
Director, Boston Cooking School/Cookbook Author
1896: Edited the Boston Cooking School Cook Book, the first edition of what is known today as the Fannie Farmer Cook Book.
The late Fannie Farmer holds a distinguished place in women's history, being one of the very first female culinary professionals, educators and the pioneer of the American cookbook.
Farmer was born in Boston, Mass. in 1857. She became interested in food preparation while working as her "mother's helper," and in 1887 enrolled in the Boston Cooking School. In 1894 Farmer became the school's director. She later resigned to open Miss Farmer's School of Cooking to teach practical food preparation. Farmer was one of the first advocates of regarding cooking as a science as well as an art.
Although well-known in Boston, she became nationally famous for her Boston Cooking School Cook Book, first published in 1896 at her expense because the publisher thought it was too risky. Still going strong some 13 editions later and now called The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, this book has become the American cooking bible. Farmer standardized recipe measurements, popularizing "level spoons" and "level cups", enabling people across the country to achieve consistent results from her recipes. It has sold over 3 million copies.
Fannie Farmer spent her later years lecturing throughout the country, as well as co-writing a monthly column for Women's Home.