The Culinary Connections between of Italy, France and England in the 1540s

Document Type

Conference Proceeding



Conference Title

Renaissance Society of America


Los Angeles, CA

Conference Dates

March 19-21, 2009

Date of Presentation



While the persistent myth of Catherine de’ Medici introducing refined dining to the French refuses to disappear, the printed cookbooks of this era do reveal mutual influence between Italy and France, and including, perhaps surprisingly, England. This paper will examine the works of Messisbugo in Ferrara, the Livre fort excellent and related works printed by Sargent in France at the same time, as well as the Proper Newe Booke of Cokery. Regardless of the unsubstantiated myths, Italy did contribute much to French cuisine, and vice versa. England, despite its later reputa-tion for poor cookery, was actually at the forefront of developments in international cooking of the 1540s.