Recipes From the Renaissance
Good Tastes of Tuscany near Florence shares a few recipes from a cooking class we experienced recently.
We recently visited Good Tastes of Tuscany and attended an afternoon class on Renaissance cooking. What follows is a sampling of recipes from our experience in a downstairs kitchen of the 13th-century Villa Pandolfini near Florence. The class was designed to introduce us to Renaissance cooking–cuisine that Lorenzo de Medici might have dined upon as he contemplated the challenging affairs of state in the late 15th century.
There are some anachronisms, to be sure. Only one master chef, not the scores of cooks who, in Lorenzo’s time, would have moved from fireplace to fireplace, stirring pots and cauldrons of various sizes and contents. But a sense of the Renaissance is physically not far away at the grand Villa Pandolfini, which was once owned by a family that was either on the ins or outs with the Medicis at different times.
Simone Biancalani, the 37-year-old native Tuscan who led our lesson on this day, explains, “In the Renaissance, they liked contrasts. They liked sweet and sour, sweet and bitter. They liked”—and he uses the definitive term that will guide our instruction—”dolceforte—sweet and strong.”