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Beau De Jour selects fantastic books for your reading pleasure focused on the art of cooking, baking and entertaining alongside the concept of presentation and the home. It is amazing how easily we can get our hands on a fantastic cookbook today. Four centuries ago, it helped if you had a tomb if you wanted your recipe written up and access was restricted to nobles.
Around 4,000 years ago the only place recipes were being written down was in the tombs of the nobles reading them. Those pleasures that they wished to have replicated in the afterlife – happy experiences, rituals, good memories – were painted onto the walls. So it is our good fortune that Senet, either the wife or mother of a senior Ancient Egyptian official, loved her flatbreads so much that their making was painted carefully and in great detail onto the wall of her burial chamber.
The dissemination of recipes became a little less elitist as time went on, however, with recipes being carved onto stone tablets. These then gave way to scrolls of parchment, but the concept of the cookbook was still far in the future. Recipes then popularly appeared in poems.