« back to encyclopedia search results
The first cookery books were hand-written, first on parchment, then on paper after that Chinese invention was introduced in the 12th century.
Printing wasn"t invented until the mid-fifteenth century. The first printed cookery book was published in Italy in 1475, though almost four centuries passed before any book gave precise cooking times and measurements, and the number of servings yielded.
Often measurements were given in the local-language-version of "pinches", "dashes" and "dollops".
The first accurate book in the English language was probably "The Cook"s Oracle" by Dr. William Kitchiner, but Mrs. Isabella Beeton"s "The Book of Household Management", published in England in 1861, had a far wider circulation and influence.
Cookery books, along with Bibles (and more recently gardening books) still outsell any other kind of book.
If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.