Sunday, January 18, 2015

Artusi's Minestrone

Pellegrino Artusi (1820-1911) was an Italian businessman and writer, best known as the author of the cookbook “La scienza in cucina e l'arte di mangiare bene” (Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well). He was not a cook, but his merit was in codifying and classifying Italy’s great tradition of domestic cuisine, the result of so many regional and local varieties. His cookbook, often embellished with detailed prose about daily life and historical trivia, should be considered a unifying tool of sorts for the gastronomic and linguistic patrimony of our country.
Bust on the grave of Pellegrino Artusi by Italo Vagnetti, Porte Sante Cemetery, San Miniato al Monte, Florence,
Bust on the grave of Pellegrino Artusi, by Italo Vagnetti
Porte Sante Cemetery
San Miniato al Monte, Florence

“Of particular interest is the story told by Artusi himself regarding a bad experience which occurred during the summer in Livorno in 1855, when Artusi came in contact with cholera, the infective disease that in that era took many lives in Italy. Once in Livorno, Artusi went to a restaurant to have dinner. After eating minestrone, he decided to rent a room in the building belonging to one Domenici. As Artusi would later recount, he spent the whole night suffering from horrible stomach pains, which he blamed on the minestrone he had eaten. The next day, returning to Florence, he got the news that Livorno had been hit by cholera and that Domenici had been a victim. It was only then that he realized what had happened: it had not been the minestrone that made him ill, but the early symptoms of the disease. The event inspired Artusi to write an excellent recipe for minestrone.”

External links: Pellegrino Artusi (Wikipedia) - Artusi's Minestrone Recipe (About Food)

14 comments:

Revrunner said...

Thanks! Now minestrone and cholera will forever be paired in my mind. :-)

William Kendall said...

Quite a lot of history in his life!

Lowell said...

A very handsome bust and a super interesting story! And best of all, I love minestrone soup!

Jack said...

A terrific bust, nicely photographed. And, it was educational to read about Mr. Artusi, who had such an important unifying role for a country in which food is so important.

Randy said...

Nice busts.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Well you know I'm going to think of this story when I next eat minestrone VP.. it is as favourite :)

Karl Demetz said...

A beautiful bust, VP !
I didn't know this, he surely made a great job.

Luis Gomez said...

What a great post VP. Maybe I will have some minestrone today.

Dina said...

Well I'm glad he lived to tell the story!
Wouldn't it be hard to eat with a moustache like that?

Lois said...

It is a beautiful bust. What an interesting history lesson!

Gunn said...

He had BIG eyes?

I will also think of what happened in 1855 next time I have minestrone :)

Nice to hear the story behind some of these men (well they are mainly men) who we see statues of, so thanks for sharing this one:)




cieldequimper said...

That's simply fascinating. I love this kind of (small) history.

Stefan Jansson said...

I love Italian food. Nice moustache.

EG CameraGirl said...

I'm glad he survived cholera and that he learned not to blame the minestrone.