An Italian Renaissance Culinary Adventure

Other Cuisines

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The food of the Italian Renaissance was, as was its art and architecture, experimental and ostentatious, at least at the new courts of noblemen and rich merchants. Thanks to extensive trade routes, rich Italians had access not only to the fresh meats, produce and wine of their regions and beyond, but to exotic ingredients and spices from far away. The discovery of America brought in new ingredients as well. And sugar replaced honey as the sweetener of choice.

This was the age of celebrity chefs, who published cookbooks with hundreds of recipes quickly popularized by the printing press.

Peasants, of course, were not as lucky and bread was their main sustenance, complemented by root vegetables.

I made three Renaissance dishes and they were all a lot of fun. They introduced me to new techniques - which our modern equipment has probably rendered obsolete, but still work - and amazing flavors.