The mysterious life of Pellegrino Artusi
Pellegrino Artusi from Forlimpopli (FC) is the father of the history of Italian cuisine, giving birth to “La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene” (Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well) in 1891.
Pellegrino Artusi is considered the father of Italian cuisine because it was the first intellectual to collect and in some way to codify the most important recipes of regional cuisines of Italy. Before him each zone, province and even tiny fraction of Italy were divided and were different in the preservation of its culinary fields. Pellegrino Artusi can then be considered the father of the history of Italian cuisine?
The son of a merchant, a good family, Pellegrino Artusi was born in Forlimpopoli (Forlì-Cesena) August 4th, 1820 and he studied at the Seminary of Bertinoro, in Forlì.
His life was full of mysterious and troubled adventures. Firstly the degree in Humanities at Bologna University: taken for granted, without foundations documentaries, for decades, based on the distracted or forced reading of a piece of his work, not reflected in the careful study of modern scholars in any of the relevant archival sources of the Ateneo from Emilia.
Pellegrino Artusi has certainly attended the student areas of Bologna in the early ’40s, knowing, in the inn Tre Re, the patriot Felice Orsini, and perhaps an unidentified “other school” in Bologna, which was not however the University .
Back in his hometown, began the profession of his father, gaining a profit. But when it seemed that all was for the better here is another strange adventure: the Artusi family life was disrupted by the January 25, 1851 raid in Forlimpopoli by the brigand Stefano Pelloni, the Ferryman. This man took hostage in the theater of the city all the wealthy families, forcing them to pay a “duty”, and then quickly left the city.
Following the raid of the bandit a sister of Pellegrino, Gertrude, went mad and had to be hospitalized in a mental hospital. Several historians and biographers believe instead that in fact the girl had suffered physical violence by the henchmen of Stefano Pelloni. In the history of Italian cuisine the life of Pellegrino Artusi is really adventurous and the best is yet to come!
A year later, the family moved to Florence.
In 1855 the turning point in life. Arrived at Livorno, Artusi went to a restaurant for dinner. After eating the soup, he decided to take lodgings at the house of a certain Domenici in Piazza del Voltone. As Artusi witnesses, he spent a night in the grip of severe stomach pains, blaming the latter for the soup. The next day, returning to Florence, the news came that Livorno had been hit by cholera, and Domenici had fallen victim. It was then that the situation became clear. It was not the soup, but the early symptoms of cholera to cause him severe gut pain.
The episode convinced Artusi to write a renowned recipe for minestrone.
At Florence Pellegrino Artusi devoted to his job as a merchant with a success that, at forty-five years, he could easily retire and live from the annuity to devote himself to literature and cuisine. He bought and lived in a house in Piazza D’Azeglio until 1911, when he died at 91 years.
In literature and history of cooking, the Romagna gourmet first wrote a biography of Ugo Foscolo and then “Osservazioni in appendice a 30 lettere del Giusti”, both published at his own expense, without much success, success that would come with “La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene” published in 1891. First edition: 1,000 copies. The book remained in print for over a century and has been translated into hundreds of languages. A little gem in the great and “eventful” life of the world’s most famous Italian gastronome. About Casa Artusi in Forlimpopoli (FC): www.pellegrinoartusi.it
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