On a + note


The best-selling cookbooks of all time! #36: 2010

Posted in on a + note by kendal0 on October 18, 2010

As I made a batch of blueberry orange muffins yesterday, I was wondering which cookbook is the best-selling of all time. Who has sold the most titles? Maybe it’s Julia or Emeril? Ina or Giada? Who is the best-selling cookbook author of all time?

I thought it was an easy question until I started looking for the answer. Finally, I consulted my local public library and the book publishing industry. Here is what I found out. In 2009, more than 9,000 titles were published in the United States; that is a whopping 31.8% increase from 6,829 in 2002.

It’s no surprise that cookbooks that are popular in bookstores are also popular in libraries. Once I excluded all the diet recipe books (for obvious reasons!) and accepted that the most recent sales figure is 2009, the list, in no apparent order, looked something like this…

· Joy of Cooking by Erma Rombauer has been in print since 1936 and has sold more than 10 million copies. It’s not so much the recipes as it is the instructions and depth of knowledge in this classic that are so helpful!

· All titles from the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten! No surprise there.

· Silver Palate and The New Basics by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso have, in many instances, taken over where the Joy of Cooking left off as a basic culinary reference book. This is particularly true as Italian and Mexican food have grown in popularity.

· Grand Livre de Cuisine: Alain Ducasse’s Culinary Encyclopedia

· Simple Italian Food: Recipes from My Two Villages and Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home by Mario Batali

· Boy Meets Grill by Bob Flay

· The Oxford Companion to Food and Drink by Andrew Smith

· Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home by Julia Child and Jacques Pepin

· Hallelujah! The Welcome Table by Maya Angelou

· The Gourmet Cookbook: More than 1000 Recipes by Ruth Reich

· Martha Stewart’s Healthy Quick Cooking is her best selling title.

· Emeril’s TV Dinners by Emeril Lagasse

· All of the editions of Rachael Ray’s 30-Minute Meals

· Paula Deen & Friends: Living It Up, Southern Style by the southern belle herself

· Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes by Giada De Laurentiis

So there you have it: more than you ever wanted to know about cookbooks!

And, the muffin recipe is in the Barefoot Contessa’s Back to Basics (the one with the green cover). I knew you’d ask. Have a great week.

Kitty Pope

Kpope @ alliancelibrarysystem.com #36 October/10

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3 Responses to 'The best-selling cookbooks of all time! #36: 2010'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'The best-selling cookbooks of all time! #36: 2010'.

  1. Diane Soffietti said,

    Kitty, I am just reading the latest Time Magazine article (Oct 25 p. 66) on COOKBOOKS! So your + Note is so very “timely!”
    I have missed seeing you lately. Thanks for the great weekly articles!


  2. Great post. I’ve been looking for a list of the 100 best selling cookbooks ever and this is the closest I’ve gotten to finding that list. Thank you.


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