The bay of Naples in the 1800s During the 17th and 18th centuries Naples was one of the richest and most sumptuous courts of Europe, attracting wealthy aristocrats from all over, who came to enjoy the climate, scenery, social life, and lively intellectual discussions (the fascination with things Middle Eastern and Oriental that characterized the 19th century began in Naples, and, on a lighter note, Lady Hamilton reenacted biblical scenes bare breasted).
The Neapolitan hosts of course rose to the occasion with lavish banquets; CarÃ²la Francesconi, the late doyenne of Neapolitan food writers, says that the best chefs were Sicilian and Abruzzesi, and that they were called Monsieur because of the way they adapted the dictates of elegant French cuisine to the Neapolitan ingredients and palate. With time Monsieur became MonzÃ¹, and if a particular MonzÃ¹ served a particular family for a long time, he was referred to as MonzÃ¹, followed by his employer’s last name, while the best dishes he created (perhaps at the suggestion of the employer) were given his employer’s name, and kept quite secret.
With the decline of the aristocracy in the mid-1800s the great MonzÃ¹ were forced to leave the employ of their masters; some turned to cooking for social clubs of one sort or another, while others opened restaurants, and to this day Neapolitans use the term MonzÃ¹ to refer to a great chef.
Mrs. Francesconi was able to obtain a number of the classic MonzÃ¹ recipes from friends and colleagues, which she included in her masterful La Cucina Napoletana “lest they be lost to posterity.”
SOME OF THE RECIPES SHE GATHERED:
Vesuvius Erupting, Pierre-Jacques Volaire (1729-92)Vermicelli alla Campolattaro I, A deft fish sauce featuring anchovies and tuna, for vermicelli.
Vermicelli alla Campolattaro II, An unusual buttery meat sauce for vermicelli.
Vermicelli alla Campolattaro III. An extraordinarily sumptuous meat sauce with chenelles.
Fusilli con Peperoni e Melanzane, Fusilli with eggplant in a bell pepper sauce.
Eliche o Fusilli Primavera, A rich spring recipe with artichokes, peas, and asparagus.
Maccheroni alla Diaz, An extraordinary fish sauce!
Maccheroni alla Monteroduni, A classic Neapolitan pork sauce, in three variations
Peperoni Impanati e Fritti, Peppers, sliced, breaded, and fried: nibble food!
Para mÃ¡s informaciÃ³n y recetas anteriores