The discovery of “new” old cookbooks always makes my brain tingle — so few people wrote down anything about the most basic of human activities — eating — that written records of any sort demand celebration and acclaim. The Book of Sent Sovi is one of those …
The Book of Sent Sovi, composed around the middle of the fourteenth century [and edited by modern-day author Joan Santanach, 2008], is the oldest surviving culinary text in Catalan. It is anonymous and, like the majority of medieval cookery books, is the product of a complex process of transmission, with multiple manuscript copies and readers who have left their mark on it. The contents are eminently practical. Successive cooks have recorded their own methods of preparing the dishes and recipes included, blending several culinary traditions in a single work. Sent SoviÃ is also a reliable source of information on the cookery of the territories of the Crown of Aragon before the revolution caused by the arrival of products from the Americas. This edition includes both an English translation, by Robin Vogelzang, and the original Catalan version. It has been the editor’s aim to clarify the difficult passages in the book – sometimes corrupted because of the complex manuscript tradition – so that it can be understood as easily as possible by its twenty-first-century readers. Published in association with Editorial Barcino.
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