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Ital-cheese-art - 8/2/08

 

"16th Century Italian Cheese Recipes" translated by Mistress Helewyse de Birkestad.

 

Instructions for making rennet, cheese, ricotta and butter, taken from a 16th century "compendium of secrets" written by a physician.

 

NOTE: See also the files: cheese-msg, cheesemaking-msg, cheese-lnks, fresh-cheeses-msg, butter-msg, fd-Italy-msg, NW-Fds-Italy-art, About-Cheese-art.

 

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Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan at florilegium.org

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16th Century Italian Cheese Recipes

Translated by Mistress Helewyse de Birkestad.

 

Introduction

 

The following cheese and dairying instructions were found in an unlikely location, namely Compendio de i secreti rationali di M. Leonardo Fiorvanti Bolognese, Medico & Cirugico.  (The Compendium of rational secrets of M. Leonardo Fiorvanti of Bologna, Medic and Surgeon).  The full text of this document is available via BNF Gallica (http://gallica2.bnf.fr/ ).

 

 

Del modo di coagulare il latte, secreto bellisimo. Cap 50

 

Il modo che usano I pastori moderni di fare coagulare ś quagliare il latte per fare il formaggio over cascio Ć questo, cioĆ, pigliano il ventricolo del vitello ś dell'agnello ś del capretto di latte quando si ammazzanno,  lo fanno secccare al fumo, come egli Ćsecco, cavano fuori il latte che vi Ć dentro, lo pestano insieme con la terza parte di sale; & con tal compositione fanno quagliare il latte.  Ma il vero secreto da far quagliare il ditto latte, & fare maggior quantitł di formaggio Ć questo, cioĆ. Si pliglia sei parti del ditto quaglio, et due di aceto fortissimo, & una di latte di fronde di fico, & si incorpora benissimo insieme, et questa tal compositione fa miracoloso effetto, & f ache mai il cascio ś formaggio che con tal cosa si quaglia non si guasta; percioche il late del fico & l'aceto lo conservano da ogni putrefattione; si come anco fa l'acqua vita, che mantiene il vino & non lo lascia ricever corruttione; et questi sono altissimi, & gran secreti di natura; & se bene paiono cose di poca importanza, nondimeno in essi si scuoprono gli alti & gran secreti rationale.

 

The way to coagulate milk, beautiful secret. Chapter 50, folio 166.

 

The way that the modern farmer uses to coagulate or set the milk to make cheese or curds is this.  That is take the stomach of veal or of lamb or milk kid when they are killed and put it to dry in smoke, and when these are dry, take out the milk that is inside, and one grinds them together with a third part of salt; and with this mixture you can cause the milk to coagulate.  But the real secret is in order to coagulate the said milk and make a large quantity of cheese is this.  One takes six parts of this rennet and two of strong acid and one of milk from fig leaves and one mixes it well together, and this mixture has a miraculous effect, it makes that the cheese made with this rennet never spoils; because the milk of the fig and the vinegar conserves it from every putrefaction; it is like aqua vita what keeps wine and doesn't let it become corrupt, and these are the ultimate and grand secrets of nature; and if one well attends to matters of little importance nevertheless in these one finds the high and great rational secrets.

 

Del modo di fare il formaggio ś vero cascio Cap 51

 

Il cascio ś formaggio che si fa, lo fanno in questo modo, cioĆ.  Quando il latte Ć quagliato, lo rompono & lo mettono sopra il fuoco, e lo fanno scaldare fin tanto, che si faccia una massa nel fondo della caldara, e poi lo cavano fuori & formano il formaggio secondo che a lor piace, & poi lo salano, & lo fanno seccare; e con tale ordine tutti i pastor fanno il formaggio, ma molto di questo si guasta; e chi lo volesse fare di estrama bontł & che mai si guastarai, faccia in questo modo cioĆ.  Piglia aceto fortissimo, & mel commune, tanto di uno quanto di altro, & fallo bollire insieme, & quando si rome il latte, per ogni trenta libre di latte, mettevi una scudella di detta compositione, & non lo scaldare troppo; e poi formale pezze del formaggio di quella forma che si vuolve, & subito che sia fatto salalo cosi caldo; e questo Ć il vero e gran secreto da fare il formaggio bonissimo, & che non si guasterł mai.  Percioche lo aceto & il mele sono materiale incorruttibili, & per la loro virtŁ conservano il formaggio.

 

The way of making cheese or real cheese (it may be the difference between formaggio being a molded cheese and Cascio a pressed cheese).  Chapter 51.

 

The cheese that one makes, one makes in this way, that is: when the milk is coagulated one breaks it and puts it over a fire and it is heated until it makes a mass at the bottom of the pot.  Then one takes it out and shapes the cheese, dependent on ones wishes, and then salt it and put it to dry.  But many times made this way it will spoil.  If one would wish to make a high quality one that never spoils make it in this way.  That is: take the strongest vinegar and common honey, more of the one than the other, and put them to boil together.  When one breaks the milk for each 30 "libre" of milk put in one "scudella" of this mix and don't heat it too much.  Then make the pieces of cheese in whichever shape you like and immediately a it is done salt it thus warm.  This is truly the great secret to make the very best cheese that never spoils because vinegar and honey are incorruptible materials and their virtues preserve the cheese.

 

Libra – about 12 oz, libre - plural of libra

Scudella – small bowl between 430 -600ml

 

Del modo di fare la ricotta o vera puina Cap 52

 

Quando i pastori hanno fatto il formaggio mettono quell siero, che li resta, dentro una caldara, & lo fanno bollire; & cosi bollendo separa una certa grassezza, che si chiama ricotta; e questo vocabolo di ricotta Ć cosi ditto, percioche tal material no si puś  fare senza ricuocere il latte; & la detta ricotta viene di sopra tutto d'un pezzo, & si cava via; e poi pigliano di quell siero, che resta, & lo serbano fin che diventa acetoso, & quando fanno un'altra volta la ricotta, come incomincia  a levare il bollo vi buttano dentro una certa quantitł di quell siero acetoso ś agro, & questo fa subito schiarire il latte o siero, e si cava maggior quantitł di ricotta, ma Ć dura & fastidiosa.  Ma chi la volesse fare tenera dolce & piacevole, in luoco di quell serio agro mattavi forttisimo aceto, ma poca quantitł , & questo fa venire la ricotta dolce, & tener; percioche essendo di sua natura contrario al latte, ha virtŁ di separare le parti grosse dale sottili, & untuose; e questo Ć il vero secreto da fare la ricotta.

 

The way to make ricotta or fresh cheese Chapter 52

 

When the heardsman has made the milk put that whey that remains into a cauldron and but it to boil, and thus boiled it will separate a certain fatness that one calls ricotta; and this way of naming it re-cooked is thus called, because this material one cannot make without recooking the milk, the said ricotta comes to the top in one piece and one takes it out; and then one takes the whey that remains and keeps it until it becomes vinegary (acid) then make another time the ricotta, and one the boil starts to raise put into it a certain quantity of that sour whey or sour and this immediately clears the milk or whey, and one pulls out a lot of ricotta, but it is hard and loathsome (or tedious), but if you want to make it soft and sweet and pleasant in place of soured whey put in the strongest vinegar, but a very little, this helps make the sweet and tender ricotta; because of it's nature contrary to milk, it has the ability (virtue) to separate the large parts from the subtle and unctuous, and this is the true secret to making ricotta.

 

Del modo di fare il butiro che si chiama fior di latte Cap 53

 

Il modo da fare il butiro Ć questo cioĆ, si molge il latte delle poppe de gli animali, & si cola col colatoio, & si lascia cosi per dodici ś quatordici hore, & in questo temp manda soptra una certa schiuma grassa, laquale si cava via separandola dal latte, et si serba in un vaso d aper se; & dipoi si sbatto tanto che per il continuo mod oil butiro si coagula insieme, & la humiditł acquosa si separa; & questo Ć il modo, colquale si f ail ditto butiro.  Ma il secreto di farlo meglio e maggior quantitł & piu soave al gusto Ć questo, cioĆ.  Piglia sal commune libre Quattro, acqua pluviale libre diece, & fallo liquefare al fuoco, che diventi tutto acqua; & quando vorrai fare il butiro, mettivi per ogni libra di butiro disfatto oncia una della detta acqua di sale, & sbattilo come si fa, che verrł assai piu presto; & come ho ditto se ne farł maggior quantitł, & sarł meglio; & si conserverł molto meglio di l'altro: percioche il sale ha virtŁ di conservare tutte le cose da putrefattione, & fa coagolare similmente le materie liquide, come si vede, chef a nell'olio commune, grassi, & alter cose simile, dove si opera molte volte.

 

The way of making butter than one calls the flower of milk Chapter 53.

 

The way to make butter is this, that is, one squeezes the milk from the teats of the animal, and one strains it with the strainer and leaves it thus for twelve or fourteen hours, and in this time comes to the top a certain fat layer, the which one can lift and separate from the milk and one reserves it in a vessel for this.  After one beats it much and continuously such that the butter coagulates together and the watery liquid separates, and this is the normal way one makes butter.  But the secret to make it better and in a larger quantity and more pleasant to the taste is this.  That is take four libre of common salt, twelve libre of rain water and put them to dissolve over the fire until it is all water, then when you want to make the butter put for every libra of unmade butter (i.e. cream) an ounce of this salty water, and beat it as you do, and it will come much sooner, and like I have said in a larger quantity and it is better and it keeps much better than the other, because the salt has the virtue of conserving all things from putrefaction, and makes coagulation similarly in liquid materials like one sees, that makes in common oil, fat and other similar things where one works many times.

 

Reference

 

Title : Compendio de i secreti rationali / di M. Leonardo Fioravanti Bolognese,...

Author : Fioravanti, Leonardo

Publisher : Omnisys (Cambridge (Mass.))

Date of publication : 1581

Subject : MÄdecine -- Ouvrages avant 1800

Type : monographie imprimÄe

Language : Italian

Format : application/pdf

Copyright : domaine public

Identifier : ark:/12148/bpt6k60605k  http://gallica2.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k60605k

Source : BibliothĆque nationale de France

Relation : http://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb37259215g/description

Provenance :

Description : Collection : Italian books before 1601 ; 490.1

 

This work copyrighted by the translator, Mistress Helewyse de Birkestad (Louise Smithson).  Permission is given to use this work for educational and non-profit research provided that credit is given to the author.  I also love to know what people are doing with my translations so please drop me an email and let me know. May 2008.

 

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Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
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Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org