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Forget Dickens, Twain and Steinbeck. Humble cookbooks are highly collectible. A window on bygone times long before microwaves and TV dinners, these historic books offer dishes, ingredients and styles of cooking that have been forgotten.
Culinary fiction leads the reader from the kitchen into cafes and restaurants and back to the dining table. Heroes and heroines are cooks or chefs or gastronomes and the plot always returns to food sooner or later.
Julia Child (1912-2004) can be thanked for introducing French cuisine to America - the land of hot dogs and apple pie - during the 1960s. Aside from her most famous creation, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Child wrote more than a dozen cookery books. Mastering the Art of French Cooking was first published in 1961 and her TV career began two years later.
From roadkill to bugs, car engines to Star Wars, take a peek at our Top Ten list of the world's weirdest cookery books.
Waitrose supermarket recently released a list of the top ten cookery books that no kitchen should be without. Is your kitchen stocked with these titles?