Over the last decade there has been an intense and widespread interest in the writing and publishing of cookery books; yet there remains surprisingly little contextualized analysis of the recipe as a generic form. This essay collection asserts that the recipe in all its cultural and textual contexts - from the quintessential embodiment of lifestyle choices to the reflection of artistic aspiration - is a complex, distinct and important form of cultural expression. In this volume, contributors address questions raised by the recipe, its context, its cultural moment and mode of expression. Examples are drawn from such diverse areas as: nineteenth and twentieth-century private publications, official government documents, campaigning literature, magazines, and fictions as well as cookery writers themselves, cookbooks and TV cookery. In subjecting the recipe to close critical analysis, The Recipe Reader serves to move the study of this cultural form forward. It will interest scholars of literature, popular culture, social history and women's studies as well as food historians and professional food writers. Written in an accessible style, this collection of essays expands the range of writers under consideration, and brings new perspectives, contexts and arguments into the existing field of debate about cookery writing.