The Medieval Pie – La torta medioevale

The Medieval Pie – La torta medioevale

In the 14th century the table of the noblemen and the rich merchants of Tuscany became so opulent to force authorities to regulate the number of presents at the banquets and the number of the courses, with very detailed laws called “leggi suntuarie” (sumptuary laws).

In the luxurious banquets of that age, the various courses of meat (chickens, ducks, partridges, pheasants, porches, hams, sausages, fish) were accompanied by salsas including not only spices (beneficial often to cover the sour flavor of not well-preserved meats), but also gems, gold, and pearls.

The way to skip the sumptuary laws, which didn’t allow more than three courses in a meal, can be found in a “Recopies book” of the XIV century.

The “La Torta” (the pie) included pork meat, ham, sausages, onions, dates, almonds, flour, cheese, eggs, sugar, salt, parsley, saffron, and other spices.

After frying the chickens into olive oil and after making ham ravioli, they put them with sausages on a sheet of dough, than they alternated layers of almonds and dates over layers of cheese and eggs mixed with salsas. The whole pie was coated with dough and cooked under the hot embers.

Traditional Italian cuisine is undoubtedly more inspired by the simple dishes of the farmer’s table rather than the great preparations of middle age merchants’ tables. However, some Renaissance recipes (outstanding ones telling how to prepare meat with fruit salsas) show the link and the influence of the old habits of the 1400 cuisine.

The Medieval Pie – La torta medioevale is a recipe from Tuscany

Enrico Massetti was born in Milan, Italy.
Now he lives in Washington, DC, USA.
Still, he regularly visits his hometown
and enjoys going around all the places in his home country
especially those he can reach by public transportation.

Enrico loves writing guide books on travel in Italy
to help his friends that go to Italy to visit
and enjoy his old home country.
He also publishes books on the Argentine tango dance.

You can reach Enrico at enricomassetti@msn.com.