La Cucina Italiana
Academia Barilla Gastronomic Library
Historical Texts of Italian Gastronomy
Title: “La Cucina Italiana”
Place of publication: Milan, 1929-1932; Rom3, 1932-1943 Milan, 1952-
Publisher: Società Anonima Notari (Istituto Editoriale Italiano), La Cucina Italiana, N.E.P.I., Editrice Quadratum
Date of issue: 1929-1943; 1952-
Format: 1929-1933, in folio 1934-1943; 1952-, in 4.
Lay out: Variable
Subjects: Food, cooking, etiquette, recipes: Service
|Notes: The first edition of "La Cucina Italiana" was released in December 15th 1929 at 45 Via Montenapoleone in Milan with the significant subtitle of "Giornale di Gastronomia per famiglie e buongustai"( Journal on gastronomy for families and for connoisseurs). This new magazine, published by the Istituto Editoriale Italiano of Umberto Notari (1878-1950), founder in 1926 of "La Finanza di Italia" is directed by his wife, married in 1901, Delia Pavoni Notari (186.-1934), widow of engineer Joseph Magnaghi (1850-1895) and owner of the Salsomaggiore baths. Even if the magazine had a monthly basis, the lay out was of a daily newspaper. It also gathered a "tasting committee" which included prestigious names of the Italian culture, like Massimo Bontempelli (1878-1960) and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876-1944), poet of the Futuristic cuisine and friend of Umberto Notari. Thanks to the wide editorial line wanted by Delia, you could find, alongside with the food recipes and gastronomic advices, many paragraphs written by intellectuals such as Ada Negri (1870-1945) (Il companatico dell’illusione, August 15th, 1930) or Margherita Sarfatti (1880-1961) (Zuppa d’aragosta, October 15th, 1930; La botte piena e la moglie ubriaca, April 1931); Giovanni Pascoli (1855-1912) (Risotto Romagnolo) or the interview by Rina Simonetta to Marietta Sabatini (1860-1932 post), acknowledged chef of Pellegrino Artusi (February 1932).
Since November 1932 the editorial offices moved to Rome, Palazzo Sciarra, and joined the editorial team of "Il Giornale d’Italia", always under the guidance of Delia Notari, who changed the editorial line of the magazine by reducing the cultural contributions and expanding the culinary themes, according to a more feminine sensibility. In January 1935 after the death of Delia Notari, the direction was taken over by Fanny Dini, making the format more flexible. The magazine was reduced to one quarter, turning the number of pages from 8 to 32, while an illustrated cover was sent to the subscribers in order to collect all the year’s issues. Cooking competitions were also launched, from the national one (July 1934), whose jury was headed by Amedeo Combs (1865-1948), distinguished chef of the Savoy royal family and the author of the legendary Ricettaio Carli, to the Best Christmas dinner ( November 1934). In 1936 in an era of economic sanctions - imposed on Italy by the League of Nations (November 18th, 1935) – the pages are significantly reduced to 22. In October 1937 the very first magazine cover appears. In April 1938 the magazine’s management passes to Athos Gaston Banti while Fanny Dini will assist as co-director, and together they will lead until the suspension of the magazine. In fact, with the country's entry into war, the magazine bound to an inevitable decline, was lead to closure in July 1943. But the closure wasn’t final and after the war, thanks to the initiative of the sisters Gosetti, the magazine was retrieved. Anna (01.09.1916-), Fernanda (26.11.1914-4.3.1999) and Wilhelmina "Mina" Gosetti (07.10.1918-03.03.2011), daughters of Anselmo and Maria Della Salda were born in Viadana, in the Lombardia region, on the border with the provinces of Reggio Emilia and Parma in a family that considered gastronomy a real art. The Gosetti were magnàn, coppersmith, while Della Salda, were cheese makers for generations, but when their mother died in the late thirties all the family moved to Milan. Anna, the eldest, worked at the advertising agency of Anton Giulio Domeneghini, who was also involved in cinema (his is the first animated film The Rose of Baghdad, 1949) and could count on major customers in the gastronomy field, like Arrigoni and Cirio. Fernanda during the meetings of the "Giovani Italiane" learned how to skillfully maneuver the concepts of domestics science and cooking while Wilhelmina "Mina" refined an early passion for photography. In 1951, with the support of her sisters, Anna started her carrier in the publishing world, buying the historic magazine of the "Cucina Italiana "by the Notari family. They transferred the headquarters from the Roman Palazzo Sciarra to Via Vincenzo Monti in Milan. From January 1st 1952 the magazine reappeared in the newsstands, with the usual quarter-size, elegant graphics, colored cover, an initial print run of 10,000 copies and a new subtitle:"Rivista di gastronomia e di convivialismo." (Journal of gastronomy and conviviality). Anna was in charge of management and advertising, while Fernanda, for eighteen years - from 1952 to 1969 –was the main author of the recipes which she signed under the pseudonyms of "Cuoco Cirillo" and "Signora Olga", overseeing the preparation of all dishes then photographed by Wilhelmina and published. In September 1952 the headquarters moved to the building Maria Zaccaria , in Via Sant'Antonio, in whose basement a kitchen was set up and where all the recipes were tested before publication. The magazines grew and consolidate, between reconstruction and economic boom, gaining credibility and becoming the undisputed leader of that publishing market set to grow extremely. Anna Gosetti della Salda, relying on the collaboration of professional chefs in the preparation of recipes, remained at the head of the "La cucina italiana" until 1981, when it was handed over to NEPI, a company that held Alberto Rizzoli as one of its shareholders, and not before having ensured a place in the gastronomic bibliography with Le ricette regionali Italiane, of 2,147 preparations, a highly detailed gastronomic tour of Italy, completed in collaboration with Giovanni Righi Parenti and published by AMZ in 1980. "La Cucina Italiana," directed by Paola Ricas from January 1981 to January 2006, from 1986 has been published by Editrice Quadratum under the direction of Patrizia Caglioni from February 2006 to March 2011 and Paul Cavaglion since April 2011.
MORONI SALVATORI Maria Paola, Ragguaglio bibliografico sui ricettari del primo Novecento in CAPATTI Alberto – DE BERNARDI Alberto – VARNI Angelo, Storia d’Italia, Annali, 13, L’alimentazione,Torino, Einaudi, 1998, pp. 903-905; DALL’ARA Renzo, Petronilla e le altre, Mantova, Tre Lune, 1998, pp. 95-103; SCAROLA Tiziana, Le riviste gastronomiche dei primi decenni del Novecento, in “Appunti di gastronomia” 45 (2004), pp. 134-140; DALL’ARA Renzo, La “Cucina Italiana”? Di Viadana, in “Gazzetta di Mantova”, 2004, 19th novembre. You can find a detailed report of the magazine’s history and its evolution at the following website:
By collaborating with " La cucina Italiana" Academia Barilla - in whose library holds the complete collection of the magazine - offers a digital version of the pre-war years, from the first issue of 1929 to the last of 1943. The magazine restarts the publications in 1952 and is still being published: www.lacucinaitaliana.it
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