Zucchero (Sugar) in the Early Renaissance

Question: What was 14th/15th Century sugar like? Recipes from various sources refer to sugar as coming in a number of colors, including “black”, “brown”, and “white”. They also call for “loaf sugar”, direct the cook to cast or sprinkle the sugar, grate the sugar, and sometimes to use “powdered” sugar. In a quick (i.e. two minutes) … More Zucchero (Sugar) in the Early Renaissance

Libri di Secreti (Italian Books of Secrets)

‘Books of Secrets’ (Libri di Secreti or, more generically, ricettari) first flourished during the middle ages. They were technical, crafts-based ‘how-to-do it’ manuals, ‘secret’ because they were written in Latin and available only to the privileged few. With the advent of the printing press, vernacular editions started to appear—the first in Italian was the Opera … More Libri di Secreti (Italian Books of Secrets)

Wash Balls Recipe from Notandissimi Secreti de L’Arte Profumatoria

  TAKE A POUND OF WHITE [VENETIAN CASTILE] SOAP, THE OLDER THE BETTER. Cut very fine, put in a basin and splash with rosewater. Mix and incorporate well. Then set in the sun, steeped in the rosewater for two weeks, and mix every day. Ten days in the sun will suffice in July or August. … More Wash Balls Recipe from Notandissimi Secreti de L’Arte Profumatoria