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Early instances
Apicius, De re culinaria, an early on number of recipes.

The first identified prepared recipes date to 1730 BC and were recorded on cuneiform capsules within Mesopotamia.

Different early written recipes time from approximately 1600 BC and come from an Akkadian tablet from southern Babylonia. There are also works in historical Egyptian hieroglyphs depicting the preparation of food.

Many historical Greek recipes are known. Mithaecus’s cook book was an early on one, but nearly all of it’s been missing; Athenaeus quotes one small formula in his Deipnosophistae. Athenaeus says a great many other cookbooks, them all lost.

Roman recipes are known beginning in the 2nd century BCE with Cato the Elder’s P Agri Cultura. Several experts of the period explained eastern Mediterranean cooking in Greek and in Latin. Some Punic recipes are identified in Greek and Latin translation.

The large number of recipes De re coquinaria, conventionally entitled Apicius, appeared in the 4th or fifth century and is the only total surviving cook book from the conventional world. It provides the programs offered in a meal as Gustatio (appetizer), Primae Mensae (main course) and Secundae Mensae (dessert). Each formula begins with the Latin command “Take…,” “Recipe….”

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

The initial formula in Persian days from the 14th century. A few recipes have lasted from the full time of Safavids, including Karnameh (1521) by Mohammad Ali Bavarchi, including the preparing instruction of more than 130 various dishes and pastries, and Madat-ol-Hayat (1597) by Nurollah Ashpaz. Menu books from the Qajar era are numerous, probably the most notable being Khorak-ha-ye Irani by prince Nader Mirza.

King Richard II of England commissioned a menu book called Forme of Cury in 1390, and about the same time frame, still another guide was published entitled Curye on Inglish, “cury” meaning cooking. Equally books provide an impression of how food for the respectable courses was prepared and served in Britain at that time. The magnificent style of the aristocracy in the Early Contemporary Period produced with it the begin of what can be called the modern menu book. By the 15th century, numerous manuscripts were showing explaining the recipes of the day. Many of these manuscripts provide great information and report the re-discovery of numerous herbs and spices including coriander, parsley, basil and peppermint, many which have been brought back from the Crusades.