Ford Authority

Ford Printed Cookbooks For Hungry Motorists As Far Back As 1950

These days, nearly everyone carries around at least one internet-capable device to find a place to dine or a recipe to cook. But there was a time, not too long ago, when such technology only existed in science fiction novels. In those times, if someone wanted to find out about a local business, they often had to ask around or consult the newspaper. For culinary delights, people most likely ended up just heading to a restaurant without any prior knowledge of the establishment. For obvious reasons, that could be a hit or miss scenario, which is why The Blue Oval must have thought its customers could use some additional information. As a result, Ford printed cookbooks that also served as restaurant guides for travelers, and they looked absolutely delightful.

Although these books contained recipes that their owners could use at home, they were clearly meant to be taken on trips as well. The Ford printed cookbooks were handy guides for travelers interested in experiencing food outside the confines of their town. They contained basic information about eating establishments, like operating hours and specialties, plus a brief history of each restaurant and some light reviews of the food.

Additionally, the Ford printed cookbooks also contained plenty of recipes for owners to try out. These days, it stands to reason that not too many restaurants would be keen on sharing their secrets. But back then, this hybrid guide was most likely viewed by the featured eateries as a way to get patrons into their establishments.

In any event, Ford clearly commissioned at least one person to embark on an Anthony Bourdain-like adventure across the country so they could get the most accurate impressions possible of the restaurants. And they even commissioned artists to paint pictures of the buildings.

Some of the books even included extremely charming maps that look like they were ripped out of a Wes Anderson film. Then again, the famous director likely found inspiration from publications similar to these Ford printed cookbooks. Either way, The Ford Treasury Of Favorite Recipes From Famous Eating Places inspired at least one sequel and several spiritual successors.

Today, these guides are widely available at major online book resellers for very reasonable prices, potentially making them the perfect gift for the Ford-loving cooking enthusiast interested in trying out some classic recipes from historically-significant restaurants.

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Ed owns a 1986 Ford Taurus LX, and he routinely daydreams about buying another one, a fantasy that may someday become a reality.

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  1. Birdman 02

    Ford Times also often included information on restaurants as sort of a travel guide feature.

  2. Shawn moody

    Does ford have a website of the recipes that people can down load and try that be kool. And learn about the places .

    Cool post

  3. Linda R.

    In 1980, while working as a waitress, a favored customer gave a copy of Ford Times Favorite Recipes, signed by Nancy Kennedy, to each of us. I still have that wonderful Travelers Guide, and have used many of the recipes. They all seem to be signature recipes. Lately I have taken to looking up the restaurant for each recipe I try, to see if they are still around. So far, I’ve only found one still running. I was thinking it would be count to let some of these proprietors know of their mention, at this late date.

    Today’s recipe led me here. A New England Ham and Potato Casserole, courtesy Royals Hearthside, Rutland, Vermont. Today I learned that although the restaurant has been razed and a Starbucks is there now, it was in business for very many years. The chef of this recipe was renowned for his skills, and for his business acumen, and helping minorities. He has been memorialized with a sculpture in his town. Fascinating. Both he and his wife are gone now. He was one of the first black restauranteers.


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