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A recipe is a set of directions that describe how to make or make something, most especially with chemicals and culinary dishes. The Latin origin means “you take”, the verb recipere means to “take back or receive” with its original use in writing of medical prescriptions.


Presently, culinary recipes usually consist of many components, such as:

  • The name of the dish
  • The amount of time it takes to make the dish
  • The ingredients needed along with the amount and proportions
  • The essential equipment and environment needed to make the dish
  • A chronological list of preparation steps
  • The number of servings or yield the recipe will provide
  • And a photograph of the completed dish


A lot of the recipes will tell how long the dish will stand and its aptness for freezing. Some recipes will also contain nutritional facts such as calories per servings and proteins, fats, and carbohydrates per serving. Before, recipes only included less information, and served more are a reminder of ingredients and proportions for people who already know who to make the dish.



Cookbooks are kitchen references that usually contain a collection of recipes. Recent versions now include vivid illustrations and advice on the quality of ingredients you need to purchase, and substitutes. Cookbooks may also contain a range of topics, like cooking techniques for the home makers, recipes, and sometimes commentaries from the chef, and cultural references.


The earliest versions of cookbooks were primarily lists of recipes for what is now the haute cuisine. Haute cuisine or Grande cuisine refers to the cuisine of high level institutions, gourmet restaurants and luxury hotels in France. They were often mainly used to provide a record of the author’s preferred dishes and for teaching professional cooks for upper-class private homes. Most of the early cookbooks provided only very limited sociological value. Traditional cuisines such as peasant foods, breads, and simple dishes where left out.


Cookbooks that became kitchen references or kitchen bibles started to appear in the modern period. They provided not just recipes but also instructions for household organization and kitchen practices.

International or ethnic cookbooks are kitchen reference of other cultures, translated into other languages for a new range of audiences. Sometimes it also serves as a culinary travelogue, providing background to a recipe.


Professional cookbooks are created for the use of working chefs and culinary students, or would serve as textbooks for culinary schools. Most of the time, such books don’t only deal with recipes but also service and kitchen workflow matters.

Single-subject books usually deal with certain types of ingredients, technique, or type of dish. Some cookbooks such as Chronicle Books have focused in this certain type of book, wish dishes such as pizzas, curries, and other ethnic food


Community cookbooks are compiled regional, charitable and fund-raising cookbooks. They are a unique type of culinary work. Community cookbook only focus on home cooking, often documented in regional, ethnic, family and societal traditions.

Cookbooks can also serve as a documentation of the food of a specific chef or restaurant wants to feature. Many of these books are written by well-known cooks or authors, usually with a running TV show or a popular restaurant.