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General Cookbooks

Recipes: from appetizers to desserts

Recipes: from appetizers to dessert

Celio Apicio BookSection 1 includes all of the general cookbooks. These comprehensive works present a vast body of recipes organized according by course or type of dish. The Academia Barilla chefs use these over one hundred books on a daily basis. The books also used in our many cooking courses.

In this section, you will also find Italian culinary histories written by important cooks and food experts.

The first book in the series was written by Marco Gavio "Apicio", a Roman who lived during the period of Emperor Tiberius and author of De re coquinaria.

The collection also includes books from the Renaissance, written by people like Christopher of Messisbugo, who worked for the Este family of Ferrara, or Carlo Nascia, the chef of the Farnese Court.

Carlo Nascia bookThe books from the 19th century include various works on the regional cuisines of Piedmont, Milan and Genoa and a series of cookbooks that spans from the simple Re dei cuochi, or “King of the Cooks,” written by Giovanni Nelli, to the Re dei Re dei cuochi, “The King of the King of Cooks,” all the way to Imperatore dei cuochi, or “Emperor of Cooks,” by Count Vitaliano Bossi.

Of course, you will also find Pellegrino Artusi’s Scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene and a 32-volume series of popular books published by Editore Sonzogo.

Pellegrino Artusi bookThese small books are dedicated to the “100 ways of cooking” meat, fish, vegetables or desserts, Italian-style. They are simple monographs that together constitute a real encyclopedia of gastronomic knowledge.

Moving into the 20th century, we have Ada Boni’s Talismano della Felicità, the famous Desinaretti di Petronilla, written by Amalia Moretti Foggia della Rovere and later editions of Artusi’s masterpiece.

Some of our postwar publications include the Italian classic Cucchiaio d’Argento, or “Silver Spoon,” the Pentola d’Oro, or “Golden Pan,” and Elena Spagnol’s heafty In cucina. And one certainly cannot forget the monumental works of Luigi Carnacina and Luigi Veronelli.

Hand-written cookbooks and advertising material

Historical cookbookThis section contains other books of great interest, from foreign language cookbooks to books written by contemporary chefs, to hand-written, personal recipes found in the bottom of drawers.

There are also original manuscripts – like the one from the Sisters of Santa Maria, dated 1847 – with instructions for making both family meals and alcoholic beverages.

These documents contain secrets passed down through the generations.

The cookbooks published as advisements or marketing material are particularly interesting. The books reflect a unique Italian reality.

Ricettario CarliEvery Italian has one or two of these at home.
They are books published by olive oil producers, pasta makers and a couple of supermarket chains.

In the Academia Barilla food and wine library, you will find hundreds of these books, which are hard to find in more general libraries. They are small in size and, for the most part, are written by well-recognized chefs.

For example, there is the Ricettario Carli series written by Amedeo Pettini, the chef of the Court of Vittorio Emanuele III of Savoy.

More recent publications include illustrations that guide you through the execution and presentation of a dish.

DesinarettiSection 1 of the general cookbook is, therefore, the first place cooks go to for more information.