28 December, 2007

What the Pope was Eating in 1550 - Bartolomeo Scappi

Having eaten way too much over the festive period (and still eating it), I feel slightly queasy writing a post about food, but here goes.

Carluccio and the Renaissance Cookbook was an entertaining BBC TV show last Thursday about Bartolomeo Scappi. Scappi was a 16th Century chef to the Vatican and author of The Opera, a landmark cookbook.

Feanor at Just a Mon has already written an excellent post on this, so I won't recap the details. I have just discovered this blog, which has some entertaining historical posts about London, including one on the history of Camomile Street in the City.

Back to Scappi...the programme has inspired some good reviews, including Nancy Banks-Smith at Guardian Unlimited ("Catholic churchmen were formidable trenchermen. If you take away one pleasure of the flesh you leave more elbow room for another").

Also Terry Durack at IndyBlogs ("What I remember most, however, is an extreme close-up of a barbecue spit popping out through a suckling pig's bum"). Quite.

There are some interesting comments in reply to Durack's review, including this gem:

"We are in total ore (sic) of Scappi, How can we learn more and find the bible of life, Opera? Please can you help. My husband has just discovered the kitchen and has now seen the light through Scappi's eyes. Genesis. He is now a changed man. We must continue the passion".

Buon Appetito!


FĂ«anor said...

Honourable Cardinal! Thank you for the very kind words, and cheers for checking out my blog. I've missed Carluccio's other food programmes, but this one on Scappi was a triumph.

cardinal_wolsey said...

Feanor, Thanks for your comment. More history-themed food programs would be good: how about Iron Age Masterchef?