chapter  3
28 Pages

Front Matters

This chapter explores the question of readership for Scappi's Opera. The appearance of manicules and asterisks in Marcantonio's copy of il percorso Scappi-Granado, indicates his awareness of conventional marking practices, linking him with literate culture and suggesting a text-based understanding of the material world of the kitchen. Marcantonio's annotations to Book II of the Opera, which deals with "Various dishes of meat, of both four-footed and winged animals, starting with Bovines", are more extensive than in Book I and consist mostly of specific ingredients underlined in recipes. Scappi often uses a combination of vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in conjunction with meat dishes, and in the margin next to yet another recipe for a kind of veal croquettes, Marcantonio writes sapore or sauce, having underlined those ingredients. The earliest southern European culinary sources, such as the Liber de coquina and related manuscripts, which date from the early fourteenth century, did not contain menus.