Cookbook Collecting and Reviews
A Cookbook Village blog written for cookbook collectors and curious cooks. Find out all about collecting cookbooks: used and vintage; reviews and values; recipes and best books to buy for investment.
McCall's Cook Book Cookbook Review - Collectibility
I could not resist reviewing the McCall's Cook Book. It is undoubtedly one of the more popular collectible cookbooks from the classics. It is a thick cookbook in the same vein as Betty Crocker Cookbook or one of the Pillsbury Cookbooks. In general, it is loaded with recipes and how-to's. I have had it in four different colors (cherry red, bright yellow, dark green and turquoise blue) and this blue is my favorite. Too bad my blue copy isn't in the best of shape on the outside.
McCall's Cookbook is 786 pages in length--very thick. The recipe pages usually have between 3-4 recipes per page. That adds up to a lot of recipes. The writing style is clear with a two-column design that lists the ingredients down the first column and the preparation in numbered steps on the right. Most of the recipes are short and easy-to-follow. I only wish there were photos. This is what gives the Betty Crocker Cookbook and Picture Cook Book the edge in terms of books from the 60's.
Anyway, there are many interesting recipes in the book--even a chapter on international dishes. The recipes in some cases are a bit exotic, something you don't expect to find in this book, such as the Cranberry French Toast with Chicken Sauce or Swedish Dilled Lamb.
Cookbook Title: McCall's Cook Book
Authors: Food Editors of McCall's
Publisher: Random House
Copyright: 1963, First Edition, First Printing
Format: Hardcover in blue (this book was also printed in red, yellow and green. These come with dust jackets but are often found without them and it doesn't seem to impact the value.
Specialization Categories: Classic Cookbooks, Vintage Cookbooks
Average Price: $25 ($40-$50 for a First Edition, First printing in good condition)
Noted Recipes: Deviled Eggs Divan, Orange Braised Pork Chops, Baked Brussel Sprouts Au Gratin, Beef in Burgundy with Gnocchi, Marzipan Stuffed Apricots, Beignets, Caramel Creme Brulee
COOKBOOK COLLECTIBILITY RATINGS RATINGS EXPLAINED
Investment Outlook: 6.0
Final Collectibility Factor: 5.83
McCall's Cook Book Availability Rating - 5.0
Like most of the collectible "classics" cookbooks from the 60's and 70's, this cookbook is usually available online for a reasonable price. There are usually somewhat limited copies available during the holiday period and the price surges to nearly double during that time so look for it off season. My sample unfortunately has worn cover corners. All four colors are equally available, though the red cover edges out a bit over the rest--don't know if they printed more or what. I do run across these in used bookshops as well. You should not have much trouble finding a nice copy--though condition is king. These books go through a lot of wear and tear as they were usually heavily utilized in the kitchen due to the ease and abundance of recipes.
McCall's Cook Book Popularity Rating - 6.5
This book is likely one of the top 5 favorites of the time. It is very popular and must be popular as a gift as well as I mentioned...prices for the book surge over the winter holiday period.
McCall's Cook Book Investment Outlook - 6.0
I think this book will eventually become harder to find over time--especially in nice condition. Still, the book's value doesn't seem to climb. It does surge over the winter holiday, but further, copies for auction often remain unsold. I give it a 6.0 rating if you can, buy at below the $25 mark as it should double up over some time. It is also a great classic and a must if you are a collector as this is still one of the more recognized vintage cookbooks of its time.
McCall's Cook Book Final Collectibility Factor Rating - 5.83
Overall, the book doesn't score as high as other classics but does score well for popularity and looks impressive on the shelf. At a $25 mark you are paying a fair, average price for this book.