What is Heritage Cooking?

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Why Heritage Cooking Needs to be on your radar

heritage cooking

The evolution of cooking is an exciting journey and left us with a history of heritage cooking. Have you ever wondered how people cook in the olden days when no proper crockery and facilities of fuel and other utensils were available?

You will agree that globally, any occasion is incomplete without being served with unique dishes. When we name a particular occasion, bring memories of certain aromas that are associated with that image.

What is Heritage Cooking

Heritage cooking refers to cooking recipes and styles that are inherited. These are one of the legacies to pass on to your future generations.

The old diaries of our grandma and great-grandma provide us with those recipes and the stories of events, happened during the making of those dishes and became part of our culture and tradition. When we recall those stories or memories of our childhood, the images of vegetables being chopped in the kitchen or the spices being crushed with their unique aroma pops up in mind.

Heritage cooking is an expression of your tradition with those recipes and practising our culture with them. These came right from the kitchen of our ancestors, making it sure to be healthy and tasty.

cooking together

Examples of Heritage Cooking

Some of the cooking started from a country and got famous around the world. For example, Chinese heritage: the noodles we commonly eat represent the tradition of north China, along with dumplings.

Italian heritage cooking: Another example is the heritage Italian cooking which is famous, adopted, and enjoyed in various regions. Italian cuisine was started from the Middle East to North Africa and then to the Mediterranean during the ancient Rome time and is inspired by diverse cultures.

As the Romans acquired different areas of the world, their recipes also adopted the ingredients of those places. Roman’s food included healthy food with no sugar; even their candies were made from dried fruits.

Today Italian recipes are not only followed by chefs and households, but those recipes are still evolving with different variations made to them.

American heritage cooking: As for American heritage cooking, BBQ is, of course, the likely candidate. Since the beginning of America’s history, BBQ has been of significant cultural importance. With recipes and techniques varying from state to state, it’s vital that heritage cooking is championed throughout the US. 

Why it’s trending

Apart from the adverse effects of the pandemic since 2020, when people have to sit home to observe social distancing, food was one things that kept most people going. This was when people got a chance to enjoy their family time with heritage dishes.

Most professionals were made to work from home, and the practice resulted in increased expressions of boredom. These professionals and even student who were to study from home confused their boredom with starvation.

That is where this cooking heritage started. A person handling the kitchen at home tried old recipes to cherish this family time, especially while dining with aromas, flavours, and dishes from their heritage.

old cooking method

How to get started with heritage cooking

From Your Kitchen

One of the easiest ways for your heritage cooking is to start from your own kitchen. Pretty sure that you have heard cooking-related stories from your mother or other family members.

People usually experience these storytelling sessions on their dining tables, especially during a particular event, while enjoying those cooked legacies.

Books are another way to equip cooking heritage. The first and the oldest book is written on this cookery was by Rome’s.

couples cooking

De re culinaria

This is the oldest book with cookery recipes. Today this book is available with the name ‘Apicius’ or ‘Culinary Matters.’ The book was assembled during the 1st century in the Latin language.

The book was written by Marcus Gavius Apicius with more than 500 recipes. Most of these recipes are with Indian spices. The writer of the book was a food lover and used to spend his wealth on it.

De re culinaria

This is the oldest book with cookery recipes. Today this book is available with the name ‘Apicius’ or ‘Culinary Matters.’ The book was assembled during the 1st century in the Latin language.

The book was written by Marcus Gavius Apicius with more than 500 recipes. Most of these recipes are with Indian spices. The writer of the book was a food lover and used to spend his wealth on it.

Book by Lori Elliot

Another worth mentioning book is by Lori Elliot naming Heritage cooking. This is an excellent book claiming to bring ancient recipes to our modern kitchen.

Lori is known for collecting traditional cookbooks, adapts its language, and come up with the context, including tips and tricks that assist cooking in contemporary kitchens.

This book has 40 recipes of the 19th century, including breakfast recipes, homemade bread, stews, soups, cakes, and desserts. Lori changes the recipes to make them accessible in present kitchens.

This book is sure to impress any person who wants a heritage cook because the recipes are written with consistent measurements. Even the temperatures for the oven are mentioned in this. Some of these recipes are Cinnamon Sage Sausage Patties, Buttermilk biscuits, Stewed beef, and Authentic Boston baked beans.

FAQ's on Heritage Cooking

How to start heritage cooking?

Well, the best way to start it from your own home with the guidance of your elders. Another way is to get started with heritage cooking is to learn from the numerous books available, i.e., Heritage cooking, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, The American Heritage cookbook, etc.

How Italian cooking heritage evolved?

Romans started with wine, bread, olive oils, vegetables, cheese, and legumes. Their dishes evolved as they experimented with roasting meats and different causes, for example, fish sauce. Pizza and pasta are their most commonly known dishes.

What is the oldest cookbook?

Rome owns this title. De re culinaria is available today with the name of Culinary Matters is the oldest cookbook initially written in the Latin language by Marcus Gavius Apicius with more than 500 recipes.

Is cooking heritage a good idea in modern times?

Of course, embarrassing our culture and keeping it alive through practising is a good thing.

Wrapping Up

So, to conclude, this pandemic, along with multiple changes in a person’s life, also resulted in cooking heritage. With the trend of heritage cooking, people could recall their traditional and cultural recipes from across the globe and enjoyed them with their families.

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Andy Canter


Ever since I started cooking I’ve been fascinated by how different people’s techniques are and how they best utilise the ingredients around them. Even the person living next door will have their own unique way of frying an egg or cooking a salmon fillet.

This fascination led me on a journey across the globe to discover the countless practices and traditions the world of cooking has to offer. I thought you’d enjoy and find value in sharing that journey with me so I created Cooked Best! 

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