Search for "recipe book" on amazon.co.uk and prepare to be overwhelmed. We were too! So, we turned to our favourite 5,000 on our Facebook page to tell us which books do more than just fill your kitchen shelves and make a difference to what you serve. Who won in our little culinary book contest?
Was it Nigella, Jamie, Delia or Gordon?
Here's what they said …
It was a landslide victory for the boys with Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and Simon Rimmer all getting a mention. Formally known as The Naked Chef, Jamie Oliver was the most popular chef, unsurprising given he is one of the world's best-loved television personalities and one of Britain's most famous exports. If you fancy adding to your Jamie collection he has a new cook book coming out this Summer "Save with Jamie: Shop Smart, Cook Clever, Waste Less" which is released on 29th August 2013 and available to pre-order now.
If Gordon is more your guy his latest book "Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Cookery Course" is about giving home cooks the desire, confidence and inspiration to hit the stoves and get cooking, with over 120 modern, simple and accessible recipes. The ultimate reference bible, it's a lifetime's worth of expertise from one of the world's finest chefs distilled into a beautiful book which has hundreds of rave reviews.
You're most likely to know Simon Rimmer as frontman with Tim Lovejoy of the hugely successful Something for the Weekend and now equally popular Sunday Brunch. Simon Rimmer's book "Men Love Pies, Girls Like Hummus" was published earlier this year with chapters including 'Tim hates coriander', 'I like Prawns but they don't like me' and 'A muckment of sauce', Simon brings his inimitable style to the table.
Flying the flag for the ladies and the bakers on our page was Mary Berry and if you fancy adding one of her titles to your collection you have a lot to choose from given that Mary has written over 80 books! Most recently published in May this year was "Mary Berry's Cookery Course", perfect for all home cooks who want to learn to cook 'the Mary Berry way'. Learn how to cook Mary Berry's favourite recipes with ease and find out how Mary gets her roast chicken skin so crispy and how she ensures her apple pie doesn't have a "soggy bottom".
Irrespective of who authored your favourite recipe book it is difficult to dispute the traditional charm of a favourite well used cookery book. They can become precious keepsakes - special ones, complete with added scribbles, splashes from meals gone by and folded-over ears with many favourites often being passed down through generations.
Even though we can now find thousands of recipes at the click of a mouse sales of cookery books have never been better. Although online recipes did get a mention tablets and ebooks are not particularly practical when it comes to cooking. Who wants buttery fingers pawing their iPad? Savvy storage for kitchen technology will know doubt be on the increase in kitchen designs but where can you make the notes or seasoning adjustments that scatter battered, much-loved recipe books?
Who's your favourite? Are you an online convert? Tell us what you think... join us over at Facebook.com/BettaLiving and on Twitter @BettaLiving