|In order to find publications on cooking, a couple of years still had to pass. In 1950, the fortunate editorial undertaking of a group of females gave birth to Cucchiaio d'argento, (The Silver Spoon). The book was written by females and ended up on the shelves with, and later surpassing the success of, Pellegrino Artusi and Ada Boni. It was considered an essential wedding gift in Italian families. In 1952, “Cucina Italiana” came back into print and it is still considered the most authoritative magazine in the sector today. And over the years, the number of culinary magazines has grown considerably.
In 1961, a decade later, Il Carnacina, was published. It was perhaps the last example of a “global” approach to gastronomy as seen by the great chef, Luigi Carnacina (1888–1981). Carnacina worked to collect, organize and recreate – a little bit like Artusi – the scattered fragments of the Italian middle-class cuisine, with special attention given to the sauces, appetizers, vegetables, eggs, to the point of overshadowing the pastas, soups, meats and desserts.
At this point, a number of novelties emerged on the culinary scene. Industrial food production led to new products and preserves, followed by frozen and ready-made foods. In turn, these changes led to the decrease in kitchen use. The abundance – in a quantitative, but especially, qualitative sense – lead to the experimentation of new horizons, tastes and preparations imported from foreign countries and to products, unknown until now. The advertorial cookbooks that first appeared at the end of the 19th century, began to invade people’s homes.
|Despite their humble graphics, the mini-magazine included high-quality recipes from well-respected authors. For example, there was the glorious Ricettario Carli, written by Amedeo Pettini; or the collections of Cirio per la Casa, edited by Lidia Morelli; recipes by Lievito Bertolini or the cards published by Barilla Pasta and many more.
The evolution of society led to women working outside their home and the need for easy-to-prepare meals and subsequent publications on the subject. Cucina rapida, or quick meals, was the focal point of many books and magazine. And at the same time, another major theme remerged: diets. No longer applicable to business people, diet-related publications started to invade the bookstores in honor of everyone who wants to be trim and fit – this, in a period when food was food was in abundance.
Beginning in the Sixties, food writing multiplied, then literally exploded and became more specialized: it was no longer the moment for general cookbooks (if we exclude the monumental and insurmountable Grande enciclopedia illustrata della gastronomia by Marco Guarnaschelli Gotti with over 6,000 entries, first published in 1990 and reprinted many times).
|The Accademia Italiana della Cucina, the well-deserving associations of Italian culinary knowledge, fostered Italian cuisine with its magazine “Civiltà della tavola” (Civility at the Table); a long series of local conferences dedicated to gastronomic excellence; and the publication in the Eighties the Ricettario nazionale della cucina regionale italiana, a monumental collection of regional Italian recipes.
Food even became the central character of police and adventure stories. After the first attempts in the Seventies, gastronomic tourism grew considerably in the new millennium, as did food and wine travel guides.
These gastronomic guides - like the legendary Touring Club Guide of 1931 to the authoritative Michelin, first published in Italian in 1955, and others – gave opinions and shifted the focus of society. The period of hunger is long gone and today people are searching for the identity of food, in terms of higher quality, in terms or certification and brand, reassurance and pleasure.
The pages in the gastronomic library extend way beyond any sort of synthesis. Therefore, it is wise to pause, after a long trip across seven centuries that encourages us to page through the evolution of taste in Italy. From here, we invite you to visit the digital library where the newest technology can offer you new flavors and experiences.
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