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5 inventions in the kitchen by Leonardo da Vinci, the Tuscan genius – Italian Cuisine

5 inventions in the kitchen by Leonardo da Vinci, the Tuscan genius


It is impossible to give Leonardo da Vinci a unique definition: scientist, painter, inventor, sculptor, engineer and … passionate food and wine!

The whole world pays tribute Leonardo da Vinci in the fifth centenary of his death among dedicated events and interesting exhibitions in which his works of art and talent are highlighted, but perhaps not everyone knows his great passion for cooking. As much as for human anatomy, his analytical and creative mind was fascinated by raw materials and their processing. Between a design of a flying machine, the sketch on paper of the draft of his next painting or a table of human anatomy, the man symbol of the Renaissance has left us the traces of his incomparable vision also in the world of the kitchen.

Although the conditional is mandatory, it seems that Leonardo da Vinci have had a past in catering. While he is at Verrocchio's workshop, in the evening he goes to work as an apprentice at the Tavern of the Three Lumache on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence between 1472 and 1478. Following a dispute between rival Florentine bands, the tavern caught fire and Leonardo joined a friend and great painter Sandro Botticelli opening the Tavern of the Three Frogs. Here Leonardo finds the perfect gym for the role of Great teacher of parties and banquets at the Sforza court in Milan for more than thirty years.

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In addition to doubt Romanoff code, source of books like Cooking notes by Leonardo da Vinci of Jonathan Routh, certainly there is the Atlantic Code, or the largest collection of drawings and writings by Leonardo da Vinci preserved at the Ambrosian Library in Milan. There is talk of about 1750 drawings produced in the forty years between 1478 and 1519 that range on different topics from anatomy to astronomy, from botany to chemistry, from mathematics to geography to the flight of birds and architectural projects.

Between legend and reality, several innovative inventions for the kitchen are attributed to Leonardo

The rotisserie. Sheet 21r of the Atlantic Code reports two images of Leonardo's rotisserie, one driven by a counterweight, the other by hot air raised by the fires and channeled through a rotation proportional to the intensity of the flames themselves. A spit with propellers that run with the heat of the flame was made for the kitchens of the Villa La Ferdinanda in Artimino (Prato).

The corkscrew. The definitive form known to us today appears in some sketches present in the Codex Atlanticus, perhaps datable to the period between 1482 and 1499.

The eggs to wind.

The garlic mince.

The pepper mill. Inspired in the design at the La Spezia lighthouse.

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