Academia Barilla Gastronomic Library
Historical Texts of Italian Gastronomy
|Author: ODESCALCHI Antonio (XIX cent.)
Title: Il cuoco senza pretese, ossia La cucina facile ed economica.
(The chef without pretention, or easy and thrifty cooking.)
City of Publication: Como
Date of Publication: 1834
Edizione: Third edition, noticeably longer
Other Editions: Como, Ostinelli, 1826, 1834, 1847.
Format: Standard Italian Format 8
Subjects: Culinary Arts; Recipes; Table Presentation: service
Notes: With two sonnets in Lombard dialect. General index at the end of the book. Antonio Odescalchi was the decendent of nobile family of Como that also included pope Innocent XI, the blessed Benedetto Odescalchi. Well-read and poetry-lover, both in standard Italian and in dialect. He was a high-school classics professor in Como and author of Prospetto di storia universale (1847), reprinted in various editions during the arch of twenty years. He also wrote numerous essays and speeches, especially on history on local customs. The newspapers underline his friendship with Franz Liszt and other artists and writers of his time. The work was published anonymously to avoid using his noble lastname and rish the dignity of being a man of letters by publishing something that during the time was considered low-profile. After only a couple of decades, in-depth achivial research led to the attribution of this book to Odescalchi. The cookbook is a young work (with a lot of potential) written by a passionate cook, but not a professional, which is evident in the colorful use of language and literary illusions of the author.