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Found Treasure - La Scienza in Cucina e L'Arte di Mangiar Bene by Pellegrino Artusi

I had the pleasure of viewing 'Italy Unpacked', the BBC Series which was broadcast last night for the first time.  It is a series about Italian art and cooking - what two better visual delights can you have coming together than this!

Andrew Graham - Dixon a historian and chef Giorgio Locatelli both from the UK explore the country's history, culture, food and of course the beautiful landscape.  In this episode they visited the regions of Emilia - Romagna, Lombardy and Piedmont - where I was born.

This post is by no means a review of the program, but I must say I was delighted to have watched it for its visual beauty and the nostalgic link to my birth country.
What made it even more exciting was hearing about the very first cook book written in Italy around the 1800's - La Scienza in Cucina e L'Arte di Mangiar Bene, written by Pellegrino Artusi. Which translates as The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well.

Artusi was an Italian banker and businessman, but his passion lay in literature and the art of cooking.  It is said that he wrote this book two decades after the unification of Italy.   He was the first to include recipes from the different regions of Italy in a single cookbook.  Artusi was credited with establishing a truly national Italian cuisine for the first time...    The book is a best seller in Italy and is filled with amusing anecdotes as well as recipes.  Every recipe was a result of his trials and experiments. 

Now for the amazing, and exciting information (for me that is)!  Little did I know that my parents have a copy of this book (1968 edition) in their possession.  I have now acquired this book with all 790 recipes and will endeavour to read each one hoping to trial a few!  There is also a section titled "La Cucina per gli Stomachi Deboli" - Cooking for the weak stomach!  

Flipping through the recipes, I came across a few that my grandmother used to make, such as Migliaccio di Romagna - known to us as Sanguinaccio; and Tortelli di ceci -  referred to by my parents as Panzerotti.  My mother still makes Panzerotti as they are a favourite.

I will talk more about these two recipes in my next posts.  


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