Renaissance Food

Italian Renaissance
The Renaissance is famous for its development of Italian art, literature, music and science that were encouraged by the humanist belief that people should question the world around them in order to advance. This humanist belief along with the wealth of patrons produced innovation in many areas of Italian culture, including Italian food.
While most people are familiar with the Renaissance artists like Michelangelo and Botticelli, they may not be familiar with another innovator, Bartolomeo Scappi. Scappi is one of the most famous Renaissance chefs.   During the course of his career working at the Vatican, Scappi worked for six different popes (“Bartolomeo”).   Scappi was just one of many cooks who made a career out of working for wealthy families. The profession of a chef became an important role during the Renaissance due to the large banquets wealthy families hosted. The cook was not only in charge of preparing the multiple course meals, but for planning the decorations and entertainment as well.
Many of the dishes, herbs, spices, and flavors that were created during the Renaissance still exist in Italian cuisine today. At a large Renaissance dinner a member of the party would expect large amounts of soups, meats, salads, cheese, pastas, and pastries.   People also placed a lot of importance on the use of herbs, seasoning, and the sauces that contributed to the dishes. One of the most important seasonings during the Italian Renaissance was sugar. There was such an emphasis on the use of the sugar that many of the dishes served during the time would not be pleasing to a current day person due to the sweetness. The herbs and spices such as marjoram, sage, thyme, and sweet basil were considered a luxury at upper class banquets.
Students in the Lorenzo di Medici renaissance history class went to Osteria dei Pazzi to have a specially prepared renaissance style meal.   The students had a three-course meal pared with two traditional wines to...