Gastronomy & Home Economics.- [Scappi (Bartolomeo)]
Il mastro di casa del sig. Cesare Pandini… Ragionamento fatto tra il cavalier Reale Fusorito da Narni Trinciante, et esso mastro di casa, part 3 only, of 3, 22 pp., from Opera…, con la quale si può ammaestrare qualsivoglia cuoco, scalco, trinciante, o mastro di casa..., large woodcut vignettes depicting a dining room and various fowls and meat cooking with turnspits in a kitchen, historiated initials and ornaments, tear to A3, slight browning, occasional staining, later quarter vellum, soiled, [Vicaire 774; Simon 1536 & Bitting, p. 419 (1570 & 1605 ed. only), 4to, Alessandro de’ Vecchi, Venice, 1610.
*** The ‘Mastro di casa’ first appeared in Vincenzo Cervio’s ‘Trinciante’ (1593), and then as an appendix to the later editions of Bartolomeo Scappi’s gastronomic work (Venice 1605, 1610, 1622, 1643). Scappi (c. 1500-1577) was the most famous chef of the Italian Renaissance. He oversaw the preparation of meals for several Cardinals and became the personal cook for two Popes. At the culmination of his career he compiled the largest cookery treatise of the period to instruct an apprentice on the full craft of fine cuisine, its methods, ingredients, and recipes (see C. Benporat, ‘Cucina e convivialità italiana del Cinquecento’, Firenze 2007, p. 27). Vincenzo Cervio and his pupil Reale Fusoritto were carvers (‘trincianti’) at the service of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese. The ‘Mastro di casa’, written in the form of a dialogue, describes the figure of the chief manservant of the house, his skills and tasks. It also contains (pp. 18ff) interesting notes on the role of the house cook, with reference to his qualities, the relationship with the suppliers (baker, butcher, fisherman, wine seller, etc.), as well as the choice of ingredients for the preparation of the meals.