yum? Some of the most ridiculous cookbooks to ever exist

recipe from Be Bold with Bananas cookbook

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Sometimes you come across a book that doesn’t seem to fit all the other books in the genre, in this case: cookbooks. And that can be fun. It can add some needed flavor and spice – that was too easy, I had to. But sometimes it is a bit of a shock: cannibalism art in a cookbook? And then there are the ones that can make you want to run away. Far, far away, like to live on the moon where there is no human food. Or maybe you need to find a time machine to undo something. Anyway, the world has enough seriousness in it, so let’s bring the ridiculous cookbooks of the past (groovy 70s had to be less groovy with one of these) and the present.

These ridiculous cookbooks make great, fun gifts. They will enjoy lounging on a coffee table, or sitting on a shelf ready to start a lively and/or hilarious conversation. Maybe even call family and friends and have a cook-off to see which recipes work and which ones might not. Spoiler: one big fat we can tell you do not below, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you might still want to discover it for yourself.

cover image Be Bold With Bananas

Be cheeky with bananas

If you’ve been here since the beginning of Book Riot, or follow Liberty Hardyyou probably already know about the hilarious horror that is in this 70s cookbook that someone really should get on the set of HBO Max’s Minx† I love bananas myself and that’s about it, so this isn’t a book for me to start with. BUT this might also just not be a book for anyone when you look at the pictures – the banana candle is the pièce de résistance! Bonus: enjoy Liberty trying to make the banana candle. Sorry not Sorry!

Recipes include: Banana Sausage, Banana and Fish Salad (I just threw up a little in my mouth.)

Cover image for Manifold Destiny: The One!  The only!  Guide to cooking on your car engine!Cover image for Manifold Destiny: The One!  The only!  Guide to cooking on your car engine!

Versatile Destination: The One! The only! Guide to cooking on your car engine! by Chris Maynard, Bill Scheller

My first four thoughts, not necessarily in this order:

1. The Health Inspector’s Nightmare.

2. So much foil – the bad environment.

3. Does anyone get food poisoning?

4. Perfect Father’s Day gift for many fathers.

Recipes include: Handy Naffta Nachos, Hyundai Halibut with Fennel

cover image The Original Road Kill Cookbook cover image The Original Road Kill Cookbook

The Original Road Kill Cookbook by Buck Peterson, J. Angus McLean (Illustrator)

Speaking of “someone gets food poisoning”, this is just a big… new for me. I got as far as researching this book as seeing “pavement possum” on the cover and on my way. And by out I mean pour bleach in my eyes and hope it gets into my brain where it can erase all knowledge of this.

Recipes include: I refuse to watch, so you’re on your own.

Cover image for Cooking in the Nude For Men OnlyCover image for Cooking in the Nude For Men Only

Cooking naked: only for men by Debbie Cornwell, Stephen Cornwell

I am super confused. To start with the title, does “For men only” mean that only men are allowed to cook naked in the kitchen? Or is the naked cook only allowed to cook for men? Or should everyone involved be male and naked? Anyway, unhygienic when the naked people cook the food. And, more importantly, who wants an oil splash on their genitals? I once dropped a knife in the kitchen and thought: wow, wearing flip flops while cooking can be potentially dangerousso imagine a flesh sword flopping around the place – no, take that back, i don’t wanna imagine it.

Recipes include: Striptease

Cover image for Dali Les Diners de GalaCover image for Dali Les Diners de Gala

Dali. Les dinners de Gala edited by TASCHEN

I view surrealism differently than the creators of this cookbook: “Food and surrealism make perfect bedfellows: sex and lobsters, collage and cannibalism, the meeting of a swan and a toothbrush on a pastry box.” In short, you can keep the cannibalism out of my cookbooks, no matter how much I love art.

Recipes include: Frog Patties, Thousand Year Old Eggs

cover photo for The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse: A Cookbook and Culinary Survival Guidecover photo for The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse: A Cookbook and Culinary Survival Guide

The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse: A Cookbook and Culinary Survival Guide by Lauren Wilson, Kristian Bauthus

This is set up to be useful no matter how you plan to survive the zombie apocalypse: “Whether you decide to hide in your own home or venture into the wilderness, whether you prefer the dregs of society clearing up or trying your hand at apocalyptic farming, and regardless of your skill level or preparation…” But I’m coming live off packaged food instead of cooking to reduce time spent on things that don’t kill zombies or run away from zombies

Recipes include: The Wok-ing Dead Stir-fry, I Want My Mommy Casserole

cover photo for Alien cookbookcover photo for Alien cookbook

Alien Cookbook by Chris-Rachael Oseland

If you like being crawled out of de-F while eating, I guess bon appétit. Personally, I’d be too concerned about something in this book firing itself at me. Or make the Beetlejuice dinner scene† Or, you know, put alien eggs in the food that will then grow in everyone’s body.

Recipes include: Invasion of Pot Pies, Alien Queen Empanadas

cover photo for Suck My Cookbook: Clean Recipes for Dirty Mindscover photo for Suck My Cookbook: Clean Recipes for Dirty Minds

Suck My Cookbook: Clean Recipes For Dirty Spirits (a coloring book) by Cherrie Poppins (Author), Wild Billy (Illustrator)

Do you stare at recipes in cookbooks and think, “Ah, if every recipe in this book was somehow sexualized”? And: “I wish this recipe had an image that could be colored in, such as a torso with a bunch of asparagus sticking out of their tight bodies”? Yes me neither. But maybe if you’re planning a party or event for a foodie where everyone wants to be perverted and joke a lot, would you?

Recipes include: Pig swords, Tagine de Vagine

If I’ve left you hungry (?) and want non-ridiculous cookbooks, there are plenty.