A cookbook can be so much more than the sum of its recipes. The very best tell a story, draw you in with wit and honesty, and can just as easily be found on a bedside table as a kitchen shelf.
From some of the earliest cookbooks written by the chefs of kings to home-cooking manuals à la Mrs Beeton to the desire for armchair travel in the 1960s and multiculturalism of the 1980s, cookbooks are at once a symptom of their time and a comment upon them. They can be aspirational, critical, subversive, political. Some offer delectable escapism or practical advice. And some just have wonderfully kitsch photography.
At a time when bestselling cookbooks are written, in name at least, by clueless celebrities and influenced by the fickle world of social media, these books are to be celebrated and savoured. From timeless classics to bizarre reprints, here are five vintage food books worth adding to your bookcase.