History Of Cookbooks And Gastronomy
Cookery and gastronomy books have been essential in the kitchens of our grandmothers, which were later inherited from our mothers until they reach us today. Now, at a time when digital is the order of the day, these types of books have said goodbye to their physical form to move to a simpler, more ecological and more comfortable to carry format. In any way, on paper or not, all or almost all of us have or have had a cookbook in our possession and, despite the large number of recipes that we can find with a simple Google search, they are still of great utility.
But... What is the true origin of these books? Who was the author of the first cookbook?
The first cookery and gastronomy book
The history of cooking is very varied. This has been built and molded over the years and centuries; Moreover, even today it can be said that it is not completely written thanks to the appearance of new ideas, dishes and gastronomic recipes that have arisen thanks to the need to achieve different experiences and cover a large number of palates.
To know how the first recipe book was born, it is essential to know the history from its origins. The kitchen arose with the primitive need to satisfy the body with food and nutrients necessary to survive. In the beginning, our oldest ancestors based their diet on vegetables, plants and certain seeds that they could easily find on earth; Later, proteins were added thanks to the hunting of small animals. But the authentic flavor and taste for food arose thanks to the salty water of the sea, where it was customary to wash meat and other food before it was eaten. This, added to the use of certain herbs to aromatize and the subsequent discovery of fire, meant that food ceased to mean only survival to become a culinary experience.
Centuries later, already in 62 AD, the Roman Caius Apicus, a gastronome of the time, wrote in his own handwriting the first cookery and gastronomy book. He called it "De re conquinaria" and it described in great luxury and detail the copious banquets of Emperor Claudius and his wives, as well as recipes with which it was possible to prepare the most popular and rich dishes of that time.
So much was the love (or madness, depending on how you look at it) that Caius Apicus had for gastronomy that, finding himself bankrupt, after having spent his entire fortune on elegant feasts, he decided to take his own life.
Why is it important to have a good cookbook?
Cooking is an art, but to get to more complicated preparations it is necessary to start with simple things. For this reason, having a good cookbook with the basics of cooking is essential for anyone who wants to enjoy good food. Cookery and gastronomy books not only teach us, but also allow us to improve our technique, they transport us to past times and, above all, to discover a new world of flavors and gastronomic experiences.