The Lewis and Clark Cookbook: Historic Recipes from the Corps of Discovery and Jefferson's America (

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The Lewis & Clark Cookbook Historic Recipes from the Corps of Discovery and Jefferson’s America by Leslie Mansfield Just in time for the 200th anniversary of the Lewis & Clark Expedition in 2003 comes Leslie Mansfield’s LEWIS & CLARK COOKBOOK. A unique record of culinary life in 18th- and early 19th-century America, THE LEWIS & CLARK COOKBOOK features 150 historically accurate recipes that use ingredients meticulously researched for authenticity. Despite the extraordinary hardships endured throughout this three-year odyssey, the variety and inventiveness of the expedition’s meals are surprising. Along with the recipes, excerpts from Lewis and Clark’s journals and Thomas Jefferson’s correspondence relate colorful accounts of the journey and hair-raising adventures of daily survival, introducing a new generation to the sights, sounds, and flavors of a pivotal time in our nation’s history.


L. Mansfield
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The Lewis and Clark Cookbook: Historic Recipes from the Corps of Discovery and Jefferson's America (Lewis & Clark Expedition)
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In 1803, a contingent of soldiers was ordered west to chart the expanse of the American frontier. Long before the Seattle cappuccino revolution, skiing in Boulder and fly-fishing on the Columbia River, the expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark covered nearly 8000 miles. The Corps of Discovery was ordered by Thomas Jefferson 200 years ago to chart just exactly what the United States had bought in the Louisiana Purchase. Some 30 soldiers set out on foot to offer a glimpse of what the Purchase meant for the foundling United States.

Leslie Mansfield celebrates the approaching bicentennial of the great exploration by capturing a picture of what daily life was like for the expedition. Specifically, she elaborates on the seven tons of food that started the mission as well as what was gathered, captured and shot along the way. The Lewis & Clark Cookbook is 176 pages of historically accurate recipes and details of what kept the operation fed. With little variation, Mansfield does well to preserve the authenticity of the ingredients and procedures necessary to nourish the group. Over 100 recipes rich in detail make up The Lewis & Clark Cookbook. There is the requisite Beef Jerky, Hushpuppies and Baked Beans. But, there is also a fish and fowl section that would make Charlie Trotter or Corrie Schrieber take notice. The Smoked Trout Cakes harken back to the 1800s with genuine necessity to smoke the foods for preservation. And the Salt Cod Fritters are also rich with keeping the minions sustained in perpetuity.

Thankfully Mansfield is forthright with sparing us the dog and horse recipes, but colors the book with Glazed Buffalo Meatloaf, Rack of Venison with Rosemary-Dijon Crust and Frizzled Beef. She dresses each recipe with some correspondence from the field or from Jefferson about whichever particular ingredient plays the starring role on that page.  Additionally, The Lewis & Clark Cookbook is rich with color plates of the various species the crew may have encountered on their trek.

Within its pages, Leslie Mansfield has researched much to make The Lewis & Clark Cookbook a significant piece of kitchen history. This crew had faced dire circumstances, including starvation, but The Lewis & Clark Cookbook decidedly details that when the Corps of Discovery ate, they adapted and used their surroundings to create a culinary abodanzaa.


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