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The fields of cookery and medieval food have recently drawn the attention of those interested in a panoramic picture of aristocratic and bourgeois social life in the late Middle Ages. In the fifteenth century, wealthy courts in the Italian peninsula led all of Europe in gastronomical achievement. The professional cooks in palaces such as those of the Este, Medici, and Borgia families were the most advanced masters of their craft, and some of them bequeathed a record of their practice in manuscript collections of recipes.
Outstanding among these early cookbooks is the one written by an anonymous master cook in Naples toward the end of the century. In its 220 recipes, we can trace not only the Italian culinary practice of the day but also the very refined taste brought by the Catalan royal family when they ruled Naples. This edition—with its introduction touching on the nature of cookery in the Neapolitano Collection, and its commentary on the individual recipes and its English translation of those recipes—will give the reader a glimpse into the rich fare available to occupants and guests of one of the greatest houses of late medieval Italy.
The Neapolitan Recipe Collection offers a particularly delicious slice of the primary documentation necessary for understanding the nature of medieval society and one of its most important aspects.
Terence Scully is Professor Emeritus of French, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the author, with D. Eleanor Scully, of Early French Cookery, also published by the University of Michigan Press.
II. The Texts 43
III. Commentary on the Recipes 107
IV. Translation of the Recipes 175
V. Ingredients, Utensils and Glossary 211
Ingredients in the Recipes 211
Utensils and Heat Sources 213
Glossary of the Recipes 214
Particular Words and Expressions in the Recipes 235
VI. Appendices 237
Composition of the Neapolitan Recipe Collection with correspondences to recipes in other collections 237
The Neapolitan Collection and Martino de Rossi 245
Catalan Recipes in the Neapolitan Collection 249