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Kevin72

The Cooking and Cuisine of Campania

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I've a Campania question: are there other recipes in Campania that call for bechamel? It just seems so E-R to me, or at least more northern in flavor.

sometimes a degree of richness based on bechamel does co-exist in the otherwise sleekly tomato-evoo-basil leaf Neapolitan palate. a leftover of the French chefs who cooked for the aristocrats during the days when naples was part of the kingdom of....whichever kingdom it was part of......

That makes sense. The aristocracy showed up long before tomatoes.

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I've a Campania question: are there other recipes in Campania that call for bechamel? It just seems so E-R to me, or at least more northern in flavor.

sometimes a degree of richness based on bechamel does co-exist in the otherwise sleekly tomato-evoo-basil leaf Neapolitan palate. a leftover of the French chefs who cooked for the aristocrats during the days when naples was part of the kingdom of....whichever kingdom it was part of......

Even earlier: The Kingdom of Naples. Angevin (as in Louis of Anjou, etc.). 13th and 14th century--i.e. another example of Franco-Italian cuisine, though this is too early to have more than recipes as marginalia and insertions in the kind of manuscript that might be cataloged as a compilation. Pizzanap. would be the expert here. (MS's reference is to the age after tomatoes. Spanish rule, 15th C, intervening.) However, I am objecting to the idea that you need to wait until the Napoleonic age and defer to the French to account for rich, aristocratic food on Italian tables.

As said in my earlier post responding to this question, there are other examples of a roux-based white sauce used in the region of great fresh cheeses, cows and bufale. Cf. Foodman's beautiful ziti above in which ricotta plays a role similar to Romagna's balsamella.


Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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