Quantcast
Latest Stories

Country Cooking

Italian cuisine–from Pellegrino Artusi’s seminal book to a cooking school in Manila

By

MARGARITA Fores (center) will run the local chapter of Casa Artusi, the famed culinary school’s one and only offshore campus so far.

I knew I had a copy of the book “The Art of Eating Well” by Pellegrino Artusi, but I didn’t have time to look for it before the lunch that announced the opening of Casa Artusi in the Philippines.

It is a sort of culinary school that teaches Italian cooking using the recipes of his book. The announcement was made at White Space at Pasong Tamo Extension, where Margarita Fores—who will run the school—cooks at The Commissary on weekends.

Foresis known mainly for her Italian cooking, learned from women in private cooking classes in Italy. She honed her craft at Casa Artusi in Forlimpopoli, Artusi’s birthplace in Romagna, northern Italy.

When at last I found the book, it was dusty from not having being read. The original title is “La Scienza d in Cucina e l’Arte di Mangiar Bene” (The Science of Cookery and the Art of Eating Well). My copy was translated by Kyle M. Phillips III, who wrote in his introduction that Artusi had to pay for the printing himself because no one would finance it and his friends didn’t believe it would sell.

The book proved to be a bestseller and accomplished much more than just documenting recipes. It enabled housewives of Italy’s growing middle class, who had no servants and staff, to make good and presentable meals. More importantly, it spread the use of the Italian language in a country that was not yet unified by language.

The translator wrote how he couldn’t find second-hand or even third-hand copies because Artusi’s book is usually passed on from mother to daughter for generations.

The Casa Artusi launch also announced that Fores would cook for a Filipino food festival at the Westin Excelsior Hotel in Rome during the week of the Philippine Independence celebration (June 13-19), then cook sinigang et. al at Festa Artusiana, an annual tribute to Pellegrino Artusi in his hometown.

The recipes will all be from “Kulinarya: A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine”; Fores was one of six chefs who worked on the book.

Organized effort

Perhaps Casa Artusi should serve as a model for the promotion of our cooking. While the Kulinarya chefs have been invited abroad to do Filipino food festivals and to different regions in the country, there is no center here to teach our cuisine. We envy Thailand and Vietnam in their effort to teach their own cooking to tourists.

We have the book “Kulinarya” that can be used as recipe source, but we need an organized effort for the teaching itself. The many cooking schools in the country could serve as venues—that is, if those schools teach their own students Filipino cooking at all. Last time I heard, very few do.

At the launch of Casa Artusi-Philippine chapter (the school’s one and only offshore campus so far), the mayor of Forlimpopoli, Paolo Zoffoli, was in town to sign the agreement with Fores. The program included the Italian Ambassador to the Philippines, Luca Fornari, trying his hand at making tortellini with the help of Chef Carla Brigliadori, a “Marietta” of Casa Artusi.

“Mariettas” are instructors named after Marietta Sabatini, Artusi’s maid, who, with his cook, Francesco Ruffilli, tested the recipes.

In Italy as in most other countries, those who spread the culture of food are the grandmothers and mothers. Mario Batali told me in an interview that he learned Italian cooking from the grandmothers in an Italian town. Like Artusi, he realized that it is home cooking that should be learned, not food as presented in restaurants.

Every new edition of Artusi’s book included additional recipes contributed by those grandmothers and mothers. The final edition totaled 790 recipes. My book has 460.

Pinoy connection

While eating some of the recipes during the launch, my tablemates and I giggled as we tried to connect the Italian dishes to ours, little knowing that Fores had done that in her press kit. The Tortellini in Brodo was very much like our Pancit Molo. Of course the Porchetta is our lechon. And the pasta with meat sauce—well, that’s our “spaghetti.”

Every recipe is numbered in the book, and so the Zabaione is no. 412. The Biscotto that accompanied it is no. 394, a biscuit that we at the+ table identified as Lengua de Gato.

On perusing Pellegrino Artusi’s “The Art of Eating Well,” I discovered that it contains as well stories of his life and that of his family, and many of his asides provide entertaining reading.

For instance, when it came to marrying off his sisters, he wrote: “I still have two sisters who had begun to count their years and were frantic for husbands under my roof; anybody who’s lived with spinsters know what a trial tolerating them can be.”

And here is what he wrote to introduce recipe no. 387, Budino Gabinetto (Cabinet Pudding): “Everybody knows that the world always pines for an idol to adore, inventing one if necessary and inflating his merits beyond reason. But I’m skeptical by nature, and repeat a famous man’s words: ‘Bring him to me dead, and then we’ll think about it.’”


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Cooking School , Food , Italian cuisine , Pellegrino Artusi



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  2. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  3. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  4. This is not just a farm
  5. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  6. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  7. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  8. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  9. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  10. Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  6. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  7. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  8. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  9. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week?
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?

News

  • Russia promises support to ending Ukraine crisis
  • Busted valve delays water interruption
  • Cardinal Tagle decries human ‘commercialization’
  • Religion builds bridges in ethnically split Cyprus
  • Iran general urges Tehran to make new UN pick
  • Sports

  • Vettel hoping for resurgence at Chinese GP
  • MLB pitcher donates $100,000 for Sewol ferry victims
  • Hamilton takes pole at Chinese Grand Prix
  • Duke’s Rodney Hood joining Jabari Parker in NBA draft
  • Phelps entered in 3 events at comeback meet
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • Fiat-Chrysler to produce iconic Jeep in China from 2015
  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • 5 Filipinos with MERS in UAE reported in stable condition
  • PH boosts MERS monitoring after UAE nurse scare
  • Canadians back PH plea to take back waste
  • We treasure our Sierra Madre
    Marketplace