[Sca-cooks] Ken Albala's Eating Right in the Renaissance

Christiane christianetrue at earthlink.net
Tue Feb 16 10:00:54 PST 2010

I picked this up at the MIT bookstore back in October, and just started reading it last night. To say it gives me a lot of food for thought about existing recipes and what our personas might have preferred in food is an understatement. 

However, my thoughts also include, "Yes, they may have been told to eat this or that, and it was best for them, but really, how many great rulers and merchants told their physicians and cooks, 'I am not eating any of that, I don't care if it calms my choler/is more stimulating because I am phlegmatic/rouses me from my melancholy/maintains my sanguinity'? Or, "I don't care what Platina says, the last time I made that dish the way he said, my lord refused to touch it.'" And that gets me wondering exactly how strictly some cooks followed the recipes, and if a dish in Ferrara tasted the same as a dish in Paris or in Palermo.

Have any of you read this book? What did you think? Did it change the way you view the extant recipes?

Adelisa di Salerno

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