Loyola University Chicago

Midwest Modern Language Association

2020 Fellowship Recipient

Dr. Lino Mioni

Winner of the 2020-2021 Newberry-MMLA Fellowship

Venice as the birthplace of the printed cookbook in vernacular Italian: From Platina’s De Honesta Voluptate to the Epulario

With a 5-year printing privilege granted to Johannes von Speyer, on September 1469, Venice officially sanctions the introduction of the movable type printing within the city limits. From that moment on Venice will become one of the most important centers of European printing and such it will remain till the middle of the 16th century. At the beginning, most of the efforts were directed to literary and classical works. But soon printers started publishing other types of works. The first cookbook to be printed was Bartolomeo Platina’s De Honesta Voluptate et Valetudine: after the princeps edition, printed most likely in Rome by Ulrich Han around 1470, the second Latin edition was printed in Venice in 1475, just 6 years after the introduction of print in that city. Among its many sources, for all the culinary recipes included in his works, the De Honesta Voluptate relies on Maestro Martino’s Libro de Arte Coquinaria, a culinary manuscript composed in the 1460s in Rome. Maestro Martino’s text will also be used as the source text for other printed cookery works that will dominate the production of printed cookbooks well into the 16th century and will open the way to monumental culinary works printed in vernacular Italian such as Messisbugo’s Banchetti(Ferrara, 1549), Romoli’s La Singolar Dottrina (Venezia, 1560), and Scappi’s Opera (Venezia, 1570). The goal of this research project is to establish how, drawing from culinary recipe collections in manuscript form, venetian printers and editors contributed to create and develop a new editorial genre: the printed cookbook.

 

Lino Mioni received his Ph.D. in Italian from Indiana University in June 2020.