A new edition of the classic American cookbook, coming out in November, will include a special section on fermentation.

By Nina Friend
Updated May 09, 2019
The Joy of Cooking
Credit: Courtesy of The Joy of Cooking

Joy of Cooking is one of those classic cookbooks that has become a mainstay in kitchens throughout America. It’s accessible and comprehensive, but it’s also, perhaps most importantly, fluid. It allows itself to change with the times while maintaining a core that stays true to the original, which was published in 1931. Now, the cookbook is being revised again—for the first time since 2006. The ninth edition will come out on November 12.

The 2019 version of Joy of Cooking will include hundreds of new recipes (Hot-smoked salmon! Thai-style wings!) and a section that’s solely focused on fermentation, according to The Associated Press. The updates, which serve to modernize the book, are the latest in Joy's long history of working to reflect the current home cook. This method has certainly worked out well, considering the fact that there are nearly 20 million copies of Joy of Cooking in print.

When Irma Rombauer self-published the first Joy of Cooking during the Great Depression, the book focused on cooking for the purpose of entertaining. In a story on Joy's legacy, Food & Wine Senior Editor Kat Kinsman writes, "She liked showing people how to whip dishes together quickly and get back to the party."

In the 88 years since, subsequent editions of Joy were amended to echo the culinary climate of that age. For example, according to Kinsman's story, the recipes in the 1943 took wartime rationing into account, and offered substitutes for certain ingredients. In a similar vein, the 1951 edition included a section on frozen foods. The edition released in 1997 included a new kind of recipe for the first time: those created by paid food professionals.

For all of these decades, Joy of Cooking has stayed within Rombauer’s family. From Irma to her daughter, Marion. From Marion to her son, Ethan. And now from Ethan to his son, John Becker, and daughter-in-law, Megan Scott, who are carrying Joy into the future.