The earliest known written recipes date from approximately 1600 BCE and come from an ‘Akkadian’ (extinct East Semitic language) tablet from southern Babylonia, an ancient civilization that existed in present day Iraq and Syria.

Evidence exists indicating that there were also recipes in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs depicting the preparation of food.

Many ancient Greek recipes are also known including Mithaecus’s cookbook (5th century BCE).

Roman recipes emerged starts in the 2nd century BCE with Cato the Elder’s ‘De Agri Cultura’ (Latin, translated to English- ‘On Farming’ or ‘On Agriculture’). During this time period, many authors described eastern Mediterranean cooking in both Greek and Latin. A large collection of recipes called ‘De re coquinaria’ (Latin, translated to English- ‘On the Subject of Cooking’) conventionally titled ‘Apicius’ appears in the 4th and 5th century CE and is the only complete surviving cookbook from the classical period.

Arabic recipes are documented starting in the 10th century.

King Richard II of England commissioned a recipe book called ‘Forme of Cury’ in 1390 and around the same time, another book was published entitled ‘Curye on Inglish’, “cury” meaning cooking.

Finally, with the advent of the printing press in the 16th and17th centuries, numerous books were written on how to manage households and prepare food.

More Info: