[Sca-cooks] Book review?

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Thu Jan 5 12:41:57 PST 2012

Da Vinci's Kitchen : A Secret History of Italian Cuisine by Dave Dewitt.
Benbella Books (January 1, 2007)

I bought it when it came out. (I am sure that it was written and  
marketed to capitalize on an association with a very popular movie  
starring Tom Hanks.)

The author is well known for his books on chili peppers and "hot"  
This work turns out to be a history of Italian food in the 15th & 16th  
centuries. Not a very good one unfortunately.
It promised a full bibliography online and of course when you searched  
the given url, there was no bibliography. The publisher decided it  
didn't need one.
I finally tracked one down through contacts and was amused to find  
that the first listed source was:

Adler-France, Chris P. “A Study of Cooking Tasks, Methods, and  
Equipment in the Renaissance Kitchen.” Aethelmearch Academy, 2004.  
Online at www. katjaorlova.com/medievalkitchequipment.com

One of the problems with the book as it stands is that you can't track  
the sources. The author cited a number of people in the book but
their books or articles are not included in the very short list of  
sources that was published. Also when queried directly the author  
couldn't remember or look up where material or statements came from.  
So we are are left with weird statements like on page 93 where it says:
"And what dishes did Scappi serve Pope Pius V at the feast in 1567?
The menu appears in La cucina by Vincenzo Campi."

I declined in the end to review it for publication.


On Jan 5, 2012, at 1:47 PM, Linda Peterson wrote:

> Does anyone know anything about this book?:
> Da Vinci's Kitchen: A Secret History of Italian Cuising by Dave  
> Dewitt.
> Mirhaxa
>  mirhaxa at morktorn.com

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