[Sca-cooks] Late Italian feast

Kerri Martinsen kerri.martinsen at gmail.com
Thu Feb 21 07:11:41 PST 2008

Thanks Helewyse.  I did send you an email asking for permission to use your
research.  did you get it?
If not, consider this my formal request.  Your websites have been invaluable
as I've been working on it.
You all have given me a lot to think about.

Comments below:

On 2/20/08, Louise Smithson <helewyse at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Vitha,
> Here are my comments about the organization of your feast. These are based
> on my research of the menus of Scappi (1575) who does count as a late
> Italian feast.


>   My intent is not to offend but to educate.
> Helewyse

Never expected otherwise :)

> >menu:
> >Pie in a Pipkin
> Vegetable soup (still looking
> >flat bread/
> >Torta Sambucea
> >
> First course
> Two recipes taken from Martino and one soup, if you haven't found a recipe
> for vegetable soup with barley it is probably because it doesn't exist.  I
> have recipes for barley porridge (think risotto with barley) and recipes for
> stewed vegetables but not one combining both.  In fact that sort of
> combination appears rare across the whole recipe corpus. What is odd is that
> the first course in most menus is served cold for both authors, and stewed
> items show up much much later (usually in the 2nd course from the
> kitchen).  The elderflower tart is OK where it is, the flat bread too to a
> certain extent.

I just want a vege soup of some kind w/o onions for some dietary
restrictions we have around here.  I wasn't looking for anything in
particular.  I'll stick to veges in broth.

I'm not sure how I can make a cold first course...The idea of salads only
seems a little light but I''ll work on that.

> >*Intermezzo*
> >Lemon Ice with Pizzelle
> The evidence I have for ice is slender, and mostly taken from harvest of
> the cold months.  It is therefore more of a sherbet with a syrup poured over
> grated ice than what we currently think of lemon ice in the Italian
> context.  Pizelle or wafers were only ever served at the end of a meal.

Noted.  I thought it would be nice, but I haven't found any documentation on
it.  Considering skipping the whole idea.

> >*2nd*
> >Fish
> >Orzo
> >Insalata di carote
> >Italian Mushle
> >
> In all the recipes of Scappi there is not one instance I can find where
> fish turns up in a meat day menu.  The menus tend to be exclusively meat or
> fish.  Additionally salads are exclusively found in the first course and no
> later, they are there in the menu to stimulate the appetite for what is to
> come next.  How do you plan on dressing your orzo?  Standard late Italian
> way is with cinnamon, sugar, butter (or oil) and cheese.  You have two
> starches with this course I hope that you are serving little of each or
> people will explode.

The Mushle was meant as a sweet at the end of the course, not as "starch".
Thanks for the orzo suggestion.  I had not found anything on that yet.

> >Hand made Cheese
> >Machete
> >
> The hard cheeses appear in the Italian menus exclusively with the last
> course from the Credenza, the soft cheeses from the first course
> Credenza.  Hard cheeses were considered to "stop" up the stomach and close
> it for digestion.  More bread.

The manchete is only to allow the spreadable cheese some way to be
consumed.  I won't have "a lot" of cheese - only 1-2 slices per cheese per
person.  The idea was to taste the hand cheese instead of consuming large
quanties of cheese.

> >Chicken w/lemon
> Catalan Style
> >Minestra di Tagliatelli
> >*Insalate di verdura
> >Armored Turnips
> >
> The roast chicken dishes are OK, but they turn up too late for a real
> Italian feast, roast dishes turn up either cold or in the first course from
> the kitchen.  Salad turns up in the first course from the credenza, Turnips
> are OK where they live.  More starch pasta this time.  I hope that you are
> planning to serve no more than about 10oz of starch per person throughout
> the feast, otherwise there will be lots and lots left.

I put the fish first as timing is always a bigger issue with fish.  Chicken
takes longer to cook but holds better.
I haven't done fish in a feast and I wanted to try it.  That was my reason
for the 2 meats.

When would soup have been served if not in the first course?  I plan on
serving it in bowls, not coffins.

> >Dried Fruit Pizza
> This is a great recipe, holds well and is a little bit more like a fruit
> tart than anything else. Have fun with it.

It's yours :)  Can't wait to try it out.  I also liked the layered
"bakalava" one w/ the elderflowers, but I though 2 elderflower dishes might
be a bit much.

I tend to like sweets (I'm really more of a pastry chef than a "meat
chef").  I like the idea of ending each course with something sweetish
instead of a full "dessert board" which I recall wasn't usually done. (but I
don't have a reference for that off the top of my head...)


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