The cooking classified in the classic books of our nation - the Panunto, the Scappi and the Cervio above all - find Lucca at the beginning of the 1600 a compiler of exception, Antionio Frugoli, author of a tract of the title Pratica and scalcaria, a volume that does not present original details but it is however a precious testimony of the culinary culture of the great cooks that entered in Lucca and that also this city participated in splendid revivals in most of the region and country. It contains many recipes that travel the whole ark of a banquet, from hor d’oeuvres to sweet dishes, that however do not present any new characteristic whereas of particular interest and originality is the chapter dedicated to milk (that arrived in abundance from the pastures of Garfagnana) and its derivatives (butter, cream, ricotta, fresh and mature cheeses); this treatment is missed in other books on cooking.
We report here a small passage meaningful to the grand variety of these products and their uses.
“From milk we may make different sorts of salted cheeses and with little salt, in butirro and in tops of milk and in giuncate and ricotta, and to flower and old milk, and in snow milk and in ravaggiuoli and in different containers large and small, and in buffalo eggs, that dairy products are served for hor d’oeuvres, from cheeses, milk snow and out containers, because they are served with fruit, and the buffalo eggs have another need. It is good in different cakes and in tartare sauces with egg and sugar inside is enough, with rose water, and different vegetable soups seasoned with butiro, in particular the pumpkin and brodetto all’ungaresca da magro, because the fat is made with meat broth, and in different white meats, with the lean meat of hen inside, and with less fat with the lean meat of different fish.And you may serve this milk to cook different sorts of salame and hams and Capons and tarantello, and out of the way eggs and polenta better again”. Lucca and its territories goverened by a small republic, lived for about two centuries a life of alternate events but has always remaind closed inside its confines in that time - as it still is today - a reminder of great pride the splendour of the commercial adventures, of grand traffic, of long travels that related to the economy of the city until the XVII century.