Reading Recipes in the Year 6,370: Redundant or Retro ?

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Music – “Pasta Fazool” from Music for cooking Delicious Recipes to Surprise Vol. 6 (Italian Cuisine) by Alessandro Alessandroni. Released: 2015

As I approach the 5,300 mark in my cookbook collection, it struck me that I have an awful lot of recipes in those books, which, undoubtedly, will never be tried. The sheer magnitude explains it.

"The Great Hall" of cookbooks in my residence.

“The Great Hall” of cookbooks in my residence.

 

According to http://www.morriscookbooks.com, the “average” cookbook contains between 300 and 400 recipes. If one does the math (which I did), I came up with a staggering number of recipes in my collection, even at 300 per book: 1,589,400! Naturally, cookbooks vary wildly in the number of recipes they hold, however, even at a low 100 recipes per cookbook, that still means I have more than half a million!

An average cookbook may have 300 to 400 recipes (or less) (Photo Credit: www.hereandnow.wbur.org)

An average cookbook may have 300 to 400 recipes (or less) (Photo Credit: http://www.hereandnow.wbur.org)

Not accounting for the “leftovers” factor, my presumed 1,589,400 recipes (at one main course recipe per day), would take my husband and I to a point 4,354 years from now: 6,370 CE (common era), without duplicating a specific recipe. Now, Methuselah he’s not and neither am I, but I wonder if by 6,370 CE will people even be “eating” in the sense we understand it now. Will cookbooks go the way of the dinosaur (not with a whimper, but a bang?) or will they still be around gathering dust in the archives of a quaint but long-forgotten crumbling library, where docents lead tour groups around the catacombs of a 21st century curiosity: cookbook collections?

"Oh look, found something called a "cookbook" from the 21st century. How quaint!" (Photo Credit: www.en.wikipedia.org)

“Oh look, I found something called a “cookbook” from the 21st century. How quaint!” (Photo Credit: http://www.en.wikipedia.org)

 

 

 

 

 

Marcus Gavius Apicius is frequently credited with having written the first “cookbook”, sometime around the 1st century CE , although the date varies and ranges from 1st century CE to the 4th or 5th century CE. Regardless, he recorded instructions for making all kinds of Roman goodies, experimenting and correcting. At the time of his writing, I wonder if he ever pondered upon the future of such books becoming popular 2,000 years down the road? Perhaps he thought it was just a passing fad, which would be scoffed at in the very distant future. Fortunately, he was wrong! Cookbooks are alive and well, as I can attest to with some authority.

One of the great features of http://www.eatyourbooks.com (EYB) is that on your bookshelf, you can put together a recipe using a multitude of search tools. In my “virtual” bookshelf at EYB, I currently share 3,779 book titles with their “library”. By searching for “beef”, I can locate 10,413 indexed recipes on my “real“ bookshelves. That’s a lot of beef! Of course, I still have an additional 1,519 “real” cookbooks, not shared with the EYB library, so that means even more mind-boggling options.

That's a lot of beef! (Photo Credit: www.coolweirdo.com)

That’s a lot of beef! (Photo Credit: http://www.coolweirdo.com)

Want to cook beef in the French way? I've got a recipe for that! (Photo Credit: www.bostonmagazine.com)

Want to cook beef in the French way? I’ve got a recipe for that! (Photo Credit:  www.bostonmagazine.com)

Narrowing it down to “beef” as “main” course, I come up with a healthy 8,376 recipes. Now, if I want to go to France for my main course beef dinner, I still have a hefty 662 recipes to peruse.

 

 

 

Searching for recipes using “bell peppers” is even more impressive: 16,550 recipes, 8,639 using bell peppers in a main course, and recipes for a Spanish main course dish with bell peppers pulls up 430 possibilities.

Spanish Paella using bell peppers (Photo Credit: www.en.wikipedia.org)

Spanish Paella using bell peppers (Photo Credit: http://www.en.wikipedia.org)

Main course with bell peppers....many choices! (Photo Credit: www.pinterest.com)

Main course with bell peppers….many choices! (Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com)

With 16,550 recipes using bell peppers, how can you become bored? (Photo Credit: www.pinterest.com)

With 16,550 recipes using bell peppers, how can you become bored? (Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com)

16,550 recipes for bell peppers! (Photo Credit: www.hamiiltonfruittreeproject.blogspot.com)

Bell peppers are alive and well! (Photo Credit: http://www.hamiltonfruittree project.blogspot.com)

Likewise, “chicken” gives me 13,219 recipe opportunities.

Plain "chicken" gives me a choice of 13,219 recipes! (Photo Credit: www.torontolife.com)

Plain “chicken” gives me a choice of 13,219 recipes! (Photo Credit: http://www.torontolife.com)

...that's a lot of chicken, but not a problem. I've got 13,219 recipes for it! (Photo Credit: www.worldrecordacademy.com)

…that’s a lot of chicken, but not a problem. I’ve got 13,219 recipes for it! (Photo Credit: http://www.worldrecordacademy.com)

Main course” chicken presents a respectable 10,849 recipes, and eating main course chicken in Africa garners 276 choices.

African Piri Piri Chicken....276 main course African dishes using chicken gives a lot of leeway! (Photo Credit: www.yummytummyaarthi.com)

African Piri Piri Chicken….276 main course African dishes using chicken gives a lot of leeway! (Photo Credit: http://www.yummytummyaarthi.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used to joke that my husband would exclaim “How come you have all of these cookbooks and we’re always eating the same thing?”, but it really isn’t true. There is truly no excuse not to have an exciting meal any longer with EYB as your guide!


My EatYourBooks cookbook collection

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About vintagecookbookery

Cookbook lover and collector with a burgeoning collection of cookbooks. Reading and researching food trends, history of cooking techniques and technological advances in cooking, what we eat and why and cookbooks as reflectors of cultures is a fascination for me. As of November 7th, 2013, I hold the current Guinness World Record title for the largest collection of cookbooks: 2,970 at the official count on July 14th, 2013 (applaud now, thank you very much!) The current (unofficial) number is now 6,202. What next? More shelves!
This entry was posted in Collecting, Collections, Cookbooks, Cooking, Cooking and Social History, Eating, Food Trends, Guinness World Records, Uncategorized, Vintage Cookbooks and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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