A History of Food in 100 Recipes, by William Sitwell, is a great combination of history and historical recipes. Each recipe (many in the traditional, long-winded, non-specific style of the Medieval world) comes with its own commentary, history, background, and, often, pictures.
I love that you can easily browse through the recipe, reading one that catches your fancy at random. It’s a great foodie coffee-style book. Here are three examples from the book to show the diversity.
The Scotch Barley Broth is featured from the pamphlet, A Course of Meals Given to Necessitous Children. This basic recipe featured beef, vegetables, and barley and was one of 17 menus developed for the poor and literally starving children in Britain during the early 1900’s. Malnourished children grew up to be “unfit” for army duty, and so nutrition became a national security issue. This pamphlet, by Marian Cuff, was just one example of the solutions people suggested at the time.