5 things you didn’t know about a cookbook
1. Cookbooks were originally written to either serve as a record of the writer’s favourite dishes or to train cooks in order to provide them with the knowledge and skills to work professionally at banquets and in private homes for the upper-class. For this reason, historical cookbooks only provide a limited snapshot of past sociology and culture as they rarely detailed significant sections of ancient cuisine such as peasant foods and bread.
2. Japanese cook books usually group recipes according to the technique by which they are cooked, unlike western recipes, which are usually categorised by the main ingredient of the dish.
3. Nostradamus once wrote a cook book titled ‘Excellent er Moult Utile Opuscule à tous nécessaire qui désirent avoir connaissance de plusieurs exquises recettes’ (An excellent and Most Useful Little Work, essential to all who wish to become acquainted with some exquisite recipes.’ It was published in 1555, the same year as his prophecies.
4. Every good cook book should have an index and if there are any rare or confusing ingredients, there should also be a glossary included to provide more information.
5. “Modern Cookery for Private Families” published in 1845, was written by Eliza Acton and established the still current, universal format for recipes listing the ingredients prior to the method. It was a pioneering cookbook aimed at the domestic cook rather than professionals.