Kitchen recipe

Kitchen recipe (or simply recipe), usually includes in some cases a list of the appropriate kitchen utensils for its realization. Occasionally includes a social, historical description that motivates the recipe. In gastronomy , it is an ordered description of a culinary procedure. It usually consists first of a list of necessary ingredients, followed by a series of instructions with which to prepare a specific dish or drink.

The recipes can be transmitted throughout the history of the peoples, from generation to generation, through oral tradition, or written through their collection in cookbooks or culinary recipes. This compiled knowledge is an important part of the culture of a human group, its evolution allows knowing the changes to which a culture is subjected. Its use in sociological and anthropological studies, or in history allows knowing the culinary conditions, tastes, and influences of a period. In the 21st century, culinary recipes appear frequently in the media such as television programs , magazines , newspapers and blogs.


The name ” recipe ” comes from the Latin recipere, which also indicates ‘give’ / ‘receive’. Initially in recipe texts, culinary processes were described as a sequence of instructions. The first medieval cookbook was a 13th century German manuscript . Spanish cuisine has one of its oldest recipes in Libre del Sent Soví, 1324.

One of the first documentary evidences of known recipes comes from 1600 a. C. in the form of a clay tablet from southern Babylon with cuneiform writing and expressed in the Akkadian language. The Greeks had dedicated culinary writers such as the poet Arquestrato, the prolific culinary writer Timáquides de Rodas. None of his recipes has reached our days. One of the earliest known cookbooks in Western cuisine was De re coquery written by the Roman cook Marco Gavio Apicio.

In Europe, French chefs Antonin Carême and Georges Auguste Escoffier begin to define cooking techniques, and their task is to collect and systematize cooking processes. In North America Isabella Beeton wrote her Book of Household Management as one of the first modern cookbooks at the end of the 19th century.

The anthropological phenomenon of culinary recipes, as a transmission of culture, was studied by Claude Lévi-Strauss in his work Les mythologiques: L’origine des manières de table (The origin of table manners). In the sixties television programs appeared showing ways of cooking.

Culinary recipes prior to the 20th century had more of a narrative structure that allowed a certain parallel literary creation. It is precisely in the first decades of the 20th century when a separate structure of ingredients / processes appears in the description of culinary recipes. If the oral tradition crystallized in a culinary literature in the form of cookbooks written since the 18th century, in the 20th century recipes are described in television programs, in magazines (specialized or not), and are also very popular in various blogs specialized.


The recipes have precise rules and regulations for their writing. If the recipe is directed at the general public, it should be written in plain language. In many cases they presuppose a basic knowledge of cooking techniques. Recipes are generally categorized into families that are grouped by main ingredient, type of preparation, country, etc. they are part of a cookbook.

Formal recipes include as elements:

  • Name of the dish (or drink) accompanied by its origin.
  • Preparation time, and sometimes the complication properly valued against a scale. Generally to describe the time that will be dedicated to the preparation of the dish , units of time expressed in minutes, at most hours, are used. The complication of the dish is usually a combination of the number of ingredients, the number of processes and the time taken. If the plate needs a time interval before being served, it would be good if it appeared in this initial part.
  • List of required ingredients with their quantities or proportions. International, local or even culinary units of measurement are usually used (such as tablespoon, teaspoon, cup , pinches, …). From the list of ingredients, and their quantity associated with the number of servings you want to prepare, the number of final servings is expressed, if another quantity is desired, proportionality rules are used. The ingredients are arranged according to their order of use. When availability of ingredients is compromised, alternative ingredients are often indicated. Similarly, if the ingredients may be unfamiliar, glossaries are often referred to .
  • Tools used necessary for the elaboration. This description is unusual in most texts. It can be deduced from the description of the processes. A professional recipe includes the size of the containers to be used.
  • Steps to follow in chronological order. This sequence of processes begins by indicating the preparation processes of the ingredients (mincing, blanching, frying, cooking, etc.), and ends with the final plating tasks and putting them on the table. It usually has a numbered structure in which each step is included in each item.

In recipes published in books, or culinary recipes, a photograph of the already assembled dish is usually included, and usually already decorated for display to diners. Sometimes it includes a sequenced illustration of the most notable processes. To improve the didactics of the recipe, instructions are usually included on how to choose a good ingredient, details on their quality.

If the indicated ingredient is unusual for the reader, provide advice on where to find it. The inclusion of certain details used in unusual cooking techniques can help a reader to successfully reproduce the recipe. Recipes sometimes include the total calorie count of their intake , as well as any nutritional indication . In culinary recipes it is generally less desirable to know the historical, sociological origin of the dish.


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