Celebrating the “Week of Italian Cuisine in the World 2020” at UW-Madison

November 13, 2020

Special Collections joins with our campus colleagues to celebrate the history of Italian cuisine during the week of November 16, 2020, and this year’s dedication to the bicentennial of the birth of Pellegrino Artusi (1820-1911), businessman and author renowned for his self-published cookbook, La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene: manuale pratico per le famiglie.

Science in the kitchen and the art of eating well first sold in 1891, later followed by 14 revised editions, growing from 475 to 790 recipes. Through this most significant Italian cookbook of modern times, Artusi collected recipes from people living in the various regions of Italy and helped unite the country politically and linguistically through cuisine. Special Collections currently has nine of the early Italian editions and strives to one day have a complete set. Additional copies in Italian and English can be found at other campus libraries.

Cover for the edition of 1908.

Artusi, Pellegrino. La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene: Manuale pratico per le famiglie. (Firenze: Presse l’autore: Presso R. Bemporad & figlio: Tipografia di Salvadore Landi), 1908. Special Collections call number: CA 19481

portrait and title page
Portrait and title page for the edition of 1909.

Artusi, Pellegrino. La Scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene: Manuale pratico per le famiglie. Firenze: Si vende presso l’autore: Presso R. Bemporad & Figlio: Tipografia di Salvadore Landi, 1909. Special Collections call number: CA 19482

We are working to expand our collections of works about Italian food and cooking, especially in support of the teaching and research needs of our faculty and students in the Department of French and Italian. We also call your attention to the very large Fry Collection of Italian History and Culture, as well as the books and manuscripts highlighted in our recent exhibit (2019) entitled Telling 100 Stories: Italian History and Culture in Special Collections. We hope you will visit us soon to consult our holdings, and we welcome your suggestions for additional titles.

suggested menus
From the edition of 1908.

Suggested menus for November dinners from the 12th edition, 1908.

The image at the top of this post depicts one of the pastry tube discs recommended by Artusi.