A Discussion of Pellegrino Artusi at the New School

Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating WellMention Escoffier at a dinner party and most people, even those who don’t count themselves among the food-obsessed, will likely know you are referring to the great French chef who streamlined the professional kitchen and codified French cuisine. But bring up the name Artusi and you’ll get stares. And yet Pellegrino Artusi and his influential cookbook La Scienza in Cucina e L’Arte di Mangiar Bene (Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well) helped shape what has become the world’s favorite thing to eat: Italian food. Self-published in 1891, Artusi, as the book is commonly known, was groundbreaking in many ways. First, it was written in Italian, the newly official language of the new country that few Italians, except those in Tuscany whose dialect it was based on, spoke.

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