The first edition was published in 1908 by Thomas Edmonds in thanks for the support given to his product, Edmonds Baking Powder. It was a 50 page booklet of economical, everyday recipes and cooking hints.
In the early years every couple who announced their engagement in the paper received a free copy. Housewives who applied in writing could also receive a complimentary copy.
In 1955 the first Deluxe Edition went on sale. This is the format that we still use today with its familiar spiral binding and image of the Edmonds Christchurch factory on the front. Over 3.3 million copies of the Deluxe Edition have been printed over the past 50 years and most New Zealand homes have more than one version.
The Edmonds Cookery Book has been updated over the years and new recipes added but the alterations have largely been minor. As ingredients such as spices like cayenne and mustard have become stronger quantities were reduced in recipes.
It is now a New Zealand tradition to receive a copy of The Edmonds Cookery Book from your Mum when you first leave home. A great practical guide, it not only contains all our Kiwi favourites such as bacon and egg pie and pikelets but straight forward instructions on essentials such as how long to roast meat or microwave vegetables.
In 2008 the centenary edition of the book was published, a hard cover edition in the familiar spiral bound format. Now over 250 pages this well-loved icon is sure to remain a staple ingredient in Kiwi kitchens for many years to come.