Early instances
Apicius, De re culinaria, an earlier collection of recipes.

The earliest known written recipes day to 1730 BC and were recorded on cuneiform tablets found in Mesopotamia.

Different early written recipes date from around 1600 BC and originate from an Akkadian tablet from southern Babylonia. Additionally there are works in historical Egyptian hieroglyphs depicting the preparation of food.

Many historical Greek recipes are known. Mithaecus’s cookbook was an early on one, but nearly all of it’s been missing; Athenaeus estimates one short menu in his Deipnosophistae. Athenaeus says a number of other cookbooks, all of them lost.

Roman recipes are known beginning in the second century BCE with Cato the Elder’s Delaware Agri Cultura. Several authors of the time identified western Mediterranean cooking in Greek and in Latin. Some Punic recipes are identified in Greek and Latin translation.

The big collection of recipes P re coquinaria, conventionally entitled Apicius, appeared in the 4th or 5th century and is the only real complete remaining cook book from the classical world. It lists the classes served in meals as Gustatio (appetizer), Primae Mensae (main course) and Secundae Mensae (dessert). Each recipe begins with the Latin order “Take…,” “Recipe….”

Arabic recipes are noted starting in the 10th century; see al-Warraq and al-Baghdadi.

The first menu in Persian times from the 14th century. Many recipes have lasted from the full time of Safavids, including Karnameh (1521) by Mohammad Ali Bavarchi, which includes the cooking instruction greater than 130 various recipes and pastries, and Madat-ol-Hayat (1597) by Nurollah Ashpaz. Menu books from the Qajar period are numerous, probably the most significant being Khorak-ha-ye Irani by prince Nader Mirza.

Master Richard II of England commissioned a menu guide named Forme of Cury in 1390, and around the same time frame, still another guide was printed entitled Curye on Inglish, “cury” meaning cooking. Both books give an impression of how food for the noble classes was prepared and offered in Britain at that time. The luxurious taste of the aristocracy in the Early Contemporary Period brought with it the begin of exactly what do be called the modern menu book. By the 15th century, numerous manuscripts were appearing describing the recipes of the day. A number of these manuscripts give great data and report the re-discovery of numerous herbs and spices including coriander, parsley, basil and peppermint, many which had been cut back from the Crusades.