Italian Cuisine: A Cultural History
Publisher: Columbia University Press | ISBN: 0231122322 | edition 2003 | PDF | 369 pages | 6 mb
The latest volume in the Art and Traditions of the Table series focuses on the cultural history of Italian cooking. With an authoritative command of the subject, Capatti and Montanari trace the changing vocabulary of Italy's earliest cookbooks from classical Latin to vernacular Italian, showing how this shift reflected the increasing significance of passing culinary skill from one generation to the next. Bit by bit, Italian cookbook writers also eliminated Gallicisms from their vocabulary to express the uniqueness of Italian cooking. Pleasures of the table then, as today, related to images of health and well being, the north favoring voluptuous fatness, the south tending to ascetic thinness. The authors limn the decline of the servant class and the gradual shift to femininity in the Italian kitchen. Contrary to contemporary emphases on Italian cookery as an agglomeration of microcuisines, Capatti and Montanari stress its unity across the nation.