[Sca-cooks] Historical food Book review- From the art of the Medicis to the tables of today

Raphaella DiContini raphaellad at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 18 11:11:05 PST 2009

>From the art of the Medicis to the tables of today 

I was shopping briefly at Powell's on Sunday and one of my friends handed me this book, we were in a rush and it looked promising so I scurried on book in hand. 

I found the layout to be somewhat visually appealing, but confusing. The pictures are gorgeous but unfortunately not dated. There is an index of artists in the back, but it still doesn't offer even a tentative date of the images, just the lifespan of the artist, and all of those are post 1600. The recipes offered are nominally tied to each of the images offered, but that's not made very clear by layout and no other period references or sources for recipes are given. 

I found this book to be charming, but useless to me as a reference for pre-1600 food research, and would be dubious of it as a source for the later times listed as no information is given as to how they chose to extrapolate the recipes from the images (and I know there are sources available that could easily have been referenced). However, at $10.00 and with recipes for things like Nutaco (a lovely addictive Italian nougat candy), wild rose hip jam, duck breast with peaches, sweet pickled cherries, quince jam, little pastry baskets with crayfish rissoles, Limoncello, and many others, I think it's a charming addition to my general cookbook collection. 

In joyous service, 


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