Modern recipes and cooking guidance
from Modern Cookery for Individual Families by Eliza Acton (London: Longmans, Natural, Reader, and Dyer, 1871. p.48.)

With the advent of the printing press in the 16th and 17th ages, numerous books were published on how best to control families and make food. In Holland and England competition became involving the respectable individuals as to who can make probably the most extravagant banquet. By the 1660s, cookery had evolved to an art form and great cooks were in demand. Many printed their particular publications detailing their recipes in opposition using their rivals. Several publications have already been translated and are available online.

By the 19th century, the Victorian preoccupation for domestic respectability brought about the emergence of cookery writing in their contemporary form. While eclipsed in reputation and regard by Isabella Beeton, the very first modern cookery writer and compiler of recipes for the home was Eliza Acton. Her pioneering cookbook, Contemporary Cookery for Private Individuals published in 1845, was aimed at the domestic audience as opposed to the professional cook or chef. This is greatly significant, establishing the structure for modern authoring cookery. It presented the now-universal practice of record the elements and proposed preparing times with each recipe. It involved the initial formula for Brussels sprouts. Modern cooking Delia Smith called Acton “the most effective author of recipes in the British language.” Contemporary Cookery extended lasted Acton, remaining in publications until 1914 and available more recently in facsimile.

Acton’s function was a significant impact on Isabella Beeton, who printed Mrs Beeton’s Guide of Home Management in 24 monthly areas between 1857 and 1861. This is a guide to running a Victorian household, with suggestions about style, kid attention, animal husbandry, poisons, the management of servants, research, faith, and industrialism. Of the 1,112 pages, around 900 covered recipes. Many were shown with shaded engravings. It is said that most of the recipes were plagiarised from earlier in the day authors such as Acton, but the Beetons never stated that the book’s contents were original. It was supposed as a trusted information for the aspirant middle classes.

The American cook Fannie Farmer (1857–1915) printed in 1896 her popular function The Boston Cooking School Cook book which contained some 1,849 recipes.