Modern recipes and preparing assistance
from Modern Cookery for Individual Individuals by Eliza Acton (London: Longmans, Natural, Audience, and Dyer, 1871. p.48.)

With the advent of the printing press in the 16th and 17th generations, numerous books were published on how best to control homes and prepare food. In Holland and England competition became involving the noble people regarding who could prepare the absolute most lavish banquet. By the 1660s, cookery had evolved to an art variety and great cooks were in demand. Many printed their own books explaining their recipes in opposition using their rivals. Several publications have been translated and are available online.

By the 19th century, the Victorian preoccupation for domestic respectability brought about the emergence of cookery publishing in its contemporary form. Although eclipsed in reputation and regard by Isabella Beeton, the very first contemporary cookery writer and compiler of recipes for the home was Eliza Acton. Her pioneering cook book, Modern Cookery for Private Individuals published in 1845, was targeted at the domestic reader as opposed to the qualified cook or chef. This was hugely important, establishing the structure for contemporary authoring cookery. It introduced the now-universal exercise of list the elements and recommended cooking times with each recipe. It included the very first recipe for Brussels sprouts. Modern chef Delia Jones named Acton “the very best writer of recipes in the British language.” Modern Cookery long lasted Acton, outstanding in print till 1914 and available recently in facsimile.

Acton’s perform was an important influence on Isabella Beeton, who published Mrs Beeton’s Book of House Administration in 24 monthly parts between 1857 and 1861. This is helpful information to running a Victorian family, with advice on style, kid attention, pet husbandry, poisons, the management of servants, technology, religion, and industrialism. Of the 1,112 pages, around 900 contained recipes. Many were shown with shaded engravings. It is said that many of the recipes were plagiarised from earlier authors such as for instance Acton, nevertheless the Beetons never said that the book’s contents were original. It was intended as a dependable information for the aspirant center classes.

The National cook Fannie Farmer (1857–1915) printed in 1896 her famous work The Boston Preparing College Cook book which covered some 1,849 recipes.