Italian Cookery Books

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Italian Cookery Books in the early centuries, were of considerable importance for the history of European cookery. A separate account is given of the work of platina (1475), the first printed cookery book, but the story should begin with the manuscripts which antedated that. Platina deserves praise for several reasons, one of which was that he set a good example for all subsequent cookery writers (and one which some of them have followed) in stating clearly the source of most of the recipes which constituted the latter part of his book. This source was ‘Maestro Martino, former cook to the Most Reverend Monsignor Chamberlain Patriarch of Aquileia’, as his 15th-century manuscript, only discovered in the 1930s, describes him.