There are three codes they contain, together with the Inventories relating to the "air, tin, brass, knife, tablecloths and other tools" preserved in the "Chamber of the arms of the Palagio del Popolo in Florence”, The records of the enormous expenses incurred for the Signoria and the employees in its service in the time span from mid-1344 to early 1477.

The set is that of a very rich table, with tablecloths, napkins and napkins, basins and pedestals, aquamanili and glass or tin flasks, cutlery with black or ivory bone handles and forks, plates and bowls of maple, salt, gravy and confectioner, "white beech" chopping boards and candlesticks. To which were added corks and strainers, small sieves and jars; and still pans and tegliette, pans and cauldrons, cauldrons and skewers, ladles and graters.

Of glasses, strangely, there is no mention. And it is said of how “… given the water to their hands, they all went to sit down. The delicately made food came, and the finest wines were soon ".

Every day they bought, penny by penny, fruit, legumes and vegetables to be consumed fresh or boiled, herbs and roots, eggs and milk, fresh and “step” cheese, dry and fat, bread, pasta, barley and spelled, rare flour.

In the days of “fat” meat was also bought: hardly from ox, more often from veal or kid, almost always (even in summer) from pork, fresh, dry or salted. And then gelding, game (wild pig, hare and roe deer), domestic and non-domestic birds. The fish from Pisa were added to the Arno small fish, the Ombrone pike, the Trasimeno eels.

It was cooked in fireplaces and ovens, with oil, lard, lard or even “sugnaccio” (pork fat from the kidney region), flavoring dishes with salt and “salina” (coarse, unrefined salt).

The cuisine was probably that of the fourteenth-century recipe books that have come down to us mutilated: a cuisine full of aromas and spices (ginger and nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon, anise and saffron, cardamom and pepper), whose dishes, seasoned with mustards and "savori", wine and vinegar, sapa (cooked must) and agresto (sour grape juice), were enveloped by the scent of nanfa water (orange blossom) or roses, violets, lilies, diluted in the sweetness of white or pink sugar, enriched with almonds and pine nuts.

They drank white and vermilion wine, Greek and Malvasia wine, Vernaccia and Vernacciuola, Trebbiano and Verdea, cooked wine and blackberry wine, May wine and Hippocras.

And, if the money was given sparingly, daily alms of bread and sweets, cheese, fish and eggs were sent to the monasteries for distribution to the poor and prisoners, keeping for themselves candles, oil for lamps, incense and more.

Did the Priors use forks? Our inventory contains forty-three, which is almost as many as there are spoons and bowls but more numerous than thirty-one knives. In addition to the forks with which one drew from the trays or large serving boards. “Forchette d'ariento” also appear in the Statutes of the Art of Silk, in the inventories of the silverware of the Republic of Siena starting from 1360 and in those of the property of the wife of Francesco Datini, a merchant from Prato.

A controversy still open, therefore, since the opinions of scholars are conflicting, contradictory the information contained in the literature of the time from Boccaccio at Sacchetti, continue the hints to the rite of hand ablution, necessary for those who used it to bring food to the mouth, and to the mockery of those who dared to make use of the practical instrument.

close
adv