NAPOLI: frittelle Ubaldine

VIDI PER FAME A VÒTO USAR LI DENTI

UBALDIN DA LA PILA E BONIFAZIO

CHE PASTURÒ COL ROCCO MOLTE GENTI.

(PURGATORIO, CANTO XXIV, VV.28-30)

Dante was not the kind of person you wanted as an ennemy. His life had been though. As a young “chevalier”, he fought the terrible “Campaldino” fight. Later he was an important politician in florence. And in the last twenty years of his life he lived exiled and in misery, asking for protection, all over italy, to friends of the same party.

11 giugno 1289 | La battaglia di Campaldino
Guelfi vs Ghibellini in the Battaglia di Campaldino

His biografy is full of anecdotes about his wit and strong character. And “Inferno”, the “hell” of Divina Commedia, is full of his ennemies.

Ubaldino della Pila is a glutton, according to Dante, and so is condemned to chew in vain (“a voto usar li denti”) in purgatory. It is anyway a lighter sentence than the one Dante issues for Ubaldino della Pila’s son, sent in deep hell. The true is, Ubaldino’s family was “ghibellina”, meaning belonged to the party opposite to Dante’s party. They were all sustaining the german emperor, while Dante was in the party opposing the german emperor.

Ubaldini della Pila di Mugello - Storia e Memoria di Bologna
The house of Ubaldini’s family

Interesting facts around this recipe are many. The first one, is that Ubaldino is from Lucca, and we are reading the Anonimo Meridionale. This is a clear sign of how entangled and international was italian politic at the time. Very far from the “dark” middle age repesented in the movies. Those “frittelle” are one of the very very fewo recipes that are dedicated to someone.

We must also notice that “frittelle” are a very ancient recipe. Apicius presents them as “globus” and recommends to eat them hot. We have recipes of frittelle, and frittelle di Sambuco, also in the arabic book that are considered the sources of the Liber and the Anonimo Meridionale. And, we have this same recipe in the tuscan manuscript Anonimo Toscano. Chefs were travellig, as much as kings and…poets.

The History of Apicus
Apicius Recipe Book (III century after Christ)

Let’s read it then. There is not much to add. (If you need doses, you might go with : 180g flower, 2 eggs, 3 g of dry yeast, little saffron).

TRANSLATION Take clean white flour from rye, and beat them with eggs and a little yeast; add saffron; and then put to cook in lard; dust with sugar or honey; and eat.

De crispelli, overo frittelle ubaldine. Togli farina netta biancha, e distempera con ova e fermento74 uno poco; mettivi çaffarano; e poi metti a cocere con lardo disfatto; da poi mettivi su çuccaro o mele; e mangia. ANONIMO MERIDIONALE (80)

Alimentazione nel Medioevo: 5 curiosità | Storia medievale, Xiv secolo,  Medioevo

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