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Should anybody have some spare change...

Poster: Franca Gorraz <francagorraz@home.com>

Noble gentles all, and especially you,
my fellow cooks, read and covet...

In service,
Eleonora Salutati, Deputy Kingdom Chatelaine, Chatelaine of Bright Hills

> Ancient recipe book puts bear back on menu
> AMONG the recipes in a 15th-century cookery book up for auction today is a
> dish of ursus. Even the omniverous Mrs Beeton stopped short of bear stew.
> Bears were not uncommon in the mountains of Italy when Bartholomaeus Platina
> published his De Honesta Voluptate. First issued in 1475, it was something
> of a best-seller. The copy being sold at an auction house in Swindon is a
> third edition from 1480.
> Expected to make between 4,000 and 6,000, the book will have more appeal
> to bibliophiles than gourmets, being in medieval Latin. But David Slade, an
> antiquarian book expert who has catalogued the volume for the sale, has
> picked out a few key words.
> "There are references to preparing hare and rabbit, numerous kinds of fish,
> and vegetables from carrots to asparagus. Platina is acquainted with herbs,
> including coriander, cumin and mint." The author, who died in 1481, was
> neither a chef nor a physician but the librarian at the Vatican; his other
> published works include the lives of several Popes.
> Peter Jones, a classical scholar who runs Friends of the Classics, said it
> was not a cookery book in the modern sense. "It is more like an
> encyclopaedia of natural history, listing plants and animals and what uses
> they may be put to," he said. "Large parts seem to be lifted straight from
> Pliny the Elder's Natural History from the 1st Century AD."
> Platina declares a bear's head good to eat, while an entry on cannabis says
> it is good for making ropes, but bad for the stomach and veins.
> Part of a collection of antiquarian books from a vendor in Germany, De
> Honesta Voluptate is printed in black Gothic text with a binding of calf on
> wooden boards.
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