We hope that it's not a real hippo cookbook.
We hope that it’s not a real hippo cookbook. gezellig-girl/CC BY-ND 2.0

Humans have been cooking by the book—or clay tablet—since about 1700 B.C. Modern cookbooks, meanwhile, come in endless varieties and serve a number of purposes. They can be gateways to new cuisines. They can be comforting collections of reference material. (Just look at The Joy of Cooking, which has eight editions and has been in print for 87 years.) Or they can be downright bizarre.

There’s no shortage of unusual cookbooks. Nostradamus, famous for his prophecies, published a cookbook of love potions and jam recipes. Hundreds of years later, Salvador Dali wrote a cookbook filled with vibrant illustrations and Surrealist musings. He also included recipes for tequila artichokes and crawfish with “Viking” herbs (that is, dill). What’s on your bookshelf?

Perhaps you own a slightly-menacing promotional cookbook for bananas from the 1970s. Or the Boy George cookbook, filled with macrobiotic recipes. Some wildly popular books and TV shows have tie-in cookbooks: Game of Scones, anyone? Or maybe you own a cookbook filled with recipes passed on by ghost cooks.

If you have an unusual cookbook, Gastro Obscura wants to see it! Send a picture, description, and the story of how you received your unusual cookbook to anne.ewbank@atlasobscura.com, with the subject line “Unusual Cookbook,” by Friday March 16 at 5 p.m. If you’ve made something from your cookbook, we’d love to hear about that too. We’ll publish our favorite reader stories in an upcoming article, so please include your full name and where you live in the email.

While this call out has closed, if you have an unusual cookbook of your own to share, head over to our new community forums and tell us about it!

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