Pellegrino Artusi and the Culinary Unification of Italy
This exhibition explores the world-famous cookbook Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well (La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene) published by Pellegrino Artusi in 1891. More than a cookbook, this book was a political project – the contribution Artusi wanted to give his country, laboriously unified a few years earlier.
“I am excited about this exhibition on Pellegrino Artusi and his world-famous cookbook, actually the most important cookbook in the history of modern Italy,” explained Grazia Menechella, Associate Professor of Italian at UW-Madison. “Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well (1891) at first could not find a publisher, but had 15 editions from 1891 to 1911, and “grew” from 475 recipes (in the first edition) to 790 recipes, thanks mostly to its readers who were sending their recipes to Artusi by mail. The history and stories of Artusi’s cookbook and recipes outside of Italy are equally fascinating, and in my lecture for the opening exhibition, I will discuss also his influence and legacy in Wisconsin in the early 20th century.”
Artusi’s work aimed to reflect the traditions of the whole country, not denying the extraordinary variety of local traditions, rather putting them into circulation, making them known and shared. This project – also a linguistic one: telling the kitchen in a “national” language that everyone could understand – worked in a “inter-active”, almost a collective way, involving the many readers who sent Artusi suggestions, advice, and new recipes. That’s why La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene became a sort of collective work, adding more and more recipes over twenty years and fifteen editions, and published up until Artusi’s death (1911). This exhibition includes 14 panels about Pellegrino Artusi and the culinary unification of Italy, as well as Italian and Italian-American cookbooks from the UW-Madison Library collections. The exhibition is sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute in Chicago, Casa Artusi, Regione Emilia Romagna, European Studies and the Department of French and Italian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. With special thanks to UW-Madison Librarians Jules Arensdorf, Karen Dunn, and Lisa Wettleson.
This exhibition includes 14 panels about Pellegrino Artusi and the culinary unification of Italy, as well as Italian and Italian-American cookbooks from the UW-Madison library collections.
“Anyone curious about Italian culture, the fortune of this book, the originality of his recipes, and the legacy of Artusi should visit the exhibition and attend some concurrent events,” said Menechella.
The exhibition is sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute in Chicago, The Italian Consulate in Chicago, Casa Artusi, Regione Emilia Romagna, and the Department of French and Italian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Other related events are co-sponsored by the Center for European Studies, the Department of French and Italian, the Italian Club at UW-Madison. With special thanks to UW-Madison Librarians Jules Arensdorf and Karen Dunn.
Fun fact: Artusi became so popular that the title of the book became Artusi, therefore, to this day, Artusi indicates both the author and the title of the book. To quote Alfredo Panzini in 1905: “ Artusi: A cookery book par excellence. What glory! A book that has become a name! How many authors can boast such an achievement?”
CALENDAR OF OTHER EVENTS LINKED TO THE EXHIBITION PELLEGRINO ARTUSI AND THE CULINARY UNIFICATION OF ITALY
March 6 – April 24, 2019
March 12, 1:00 – 2:15 pm: Lit Trans 410, Food Cultures of Italy (Prof. Menechella). Class at Memorial Library. Viewing of the exhibition followed by Prof. Menechella’s lecture on “What’s a Recipe? Writing and Reading Recipes from Artusi to Malvaldi.”
March 13 4:00 pm
Opening Lecture for the exhibition
Alberta Lai (Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Chicago): Welcoming Remarks
Grazia Menechella (French and Italian, UW-Madison): “Italian Food Writing Across the Ocean: The Artusi Connection from Italy to Wisconsin”
Memorial Library, Room # 126, 728 State St, Madison, WI 53706
Free and open to all.
This lecture looks at Pellegrino Artusi’s Scienza in Cucina e l’Arte di Mangiar Bene (Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well, 1891) as an original and innovative collective project that will influence generations of readers as well as generations of food writers, and investigates the impact and legacy of Artusi and his unique cookbook in the US, especially in Wisconsin.
March 28 1:00 – 2:15 pm
Hands-on cooking class making Artusi dishes
UW-Madison Babcock Kitchen Lab. 1605 Linden Drive, Room B 14
Free and open to UW students enrolled in Prof. Menechella’s course.
Literature in Translation 410, Food Cultures of Italy (Prof. Grazia Menechella) students make Artusi dishes with chef Francesco Mangano. For more information, contact Prof. Grazia Menechella firstname.lastname@example.org
“Artusi Menu” at Osteria Papavero
Osteria Papavero, 128 E Wilson St, Madison, WI 53703
For more information, contact Osteria Papavero, tel. 608-255-8376
On top of the regular lunch and dinner menu, chef Francesco Mangano will make “special” dishes using and adapting recipes from the Artusi cookbook. Recipes: # 394: Funghi fritti (Fried Mushrooms), # 363: Vitello tonnato (Veal in Tuna Sauce), # 88: Maccheroni con le sarde (Macaroni with Sardines Sicilian Style), # 91: Pappardelle all’aretina (Pappardelle Noodles Arezzo Style), # 219: Coniglio fritto (Fried Rabbit), # 74: Risotto al Nero con le seppie (Black Risotto with Cuttlefish Florentine Style) , # 675: Zuppa inglese (English Trifle).
April 24 7:00 pm
Film Screening of Quanto Basta (As Needed, 2018) directed by Francesco Falaschi.
The Marquee Cinema at Union South, 1308 W Dayton St, Room 245, Madison, WI 53715
Free and open to all.
This film about Italian chefs and cooking also makes reference to Pellegrino Artusi, especially to Artusi’s recipe # 506 Baccalà alla Fiorentina (Salt Cod Florentine Style), and to the use of “q.b.” (“quanto basta” / “as needed”) to indicate amounts in his recipes. Screening part of the Italian Film Festival 2019.
For more information, contact Prof. Grazia Menechella email@example.com.
Department of French and Italian, UW-Madison