A cuisine of Ancient Rome

A cuisine of Ancient Rome

The Italian cooking it could not be so renowned and of an excellent level if it did not boast a background equally substantial, formed by centuries of inventions, experiments and innovations that make it, nowadays, among the most popular in the world.

The moment when it was decided not to entrust the notes on the preparation of the dishes to simple flying sheets, that inevitably ended up getting lost, is represented by Gourmet poem, a work that can be considered the prototype of modern recipe books, that is, a written text that permanently and safely fixed ingredients and modus operandi of the various dishes.

Written in the 4th century by the poet of Sicily, then Magna Grecia, Archestrato di Gela, the book presented the particularity of treating the gastronomic topic in a poetic way, as written in hexameters; to modern eyes the text certainly appears fun and also innovative in reference to the era in which it was composed, but today completely or almost unusable in practice.

Instead, it continues to experience considerable success even after many centuries Apicius, ancient kitchen manual of the 4th-5th century AD. attributed to Apicio (in reality we know practically nothing about the author, who probably lived in the 1st century AD, therefore the text we have received would be a later reworking); it was probably aimed at cooks serving the aristocrats of Rome and the recipes presented are those typical of Roman cuisine, meat, vegetables, legumes, fish and the omnipresent garum (O liquamen), the most loved and used sauce (https://www.pilloledistoria.it/1787/storia-antica/garum-liquamen-salsa-preferita-dai-romani).

The Middle Ages it marked the beginning of a new course of Italian gastronomic culture and saw the flowering of a real one

A typical Italian cuisine of the Middle Ages

A typical Italian cuisine of the Middle Ages

industry literature, with well-structured and detailed recipe books whose authors have remained almost always anonymous.

The cook who probably wrote the Latin in Latin between the end of the '200 and the beginning of the' 300 was probably of southern origin Free of coquina, a text of fundamental importance in the cuisine of those centuries, enough to spread throughout Europe and to be translated into French and German.

The book was almost certainly aimed at other cooks, at least according to the complexity of the recipes listed and the almost total lack of indications about dosages and cooking times, whose knowledge was evidently taken for granted.

The first cookbooks aimed at the middle class and no longer only at the experts of the trade, were the Cookbook, composed at the beginning of the 15th century by an anonymous Tuscan, perhaps Sienese, in the vernacular, and the Cook book, in Venetian dialect, of an anonymous contemporary of Venice.

Con i Two cookbooks, written by a southern stranger in both Latin and vernacular around the mid-fifteenth century, the medieval phase of Italian gastronomy can be said to be closed, now projected to that ideal and substantial renewal that characterized it in the Renaissance (Photo gives: ilritaglio.it e wikipedia.org).