Ricettari letterari

La cena di Trimalchione, tratta dal Satirycon di Petronio, il Gargantua e Pantagruel di Rabelais, banchetti bulimici del I° secolo d.C e della prima modernità, sono due tra gli esempi più attraenti del binomio tra letteratura e cibo.  Attraenti perché  il cibo viene portato alla sua estrema rappresentazione, presentato e servito in maniera opulenta. Questa ostentazione ha un preciso significato: è veicolo dell’affermazione del potere del parvenue nel primo caso e come espressione di un naturalismo gioioso e spregiudicato, nel secondo. Le rappresentazioni del cibo nella letteratura sono sterminate: descrizioni vere e proprie di ricette, piatti realizzati con minuziosa cura, passioni culinarie dei protagonisti dei romanzi.

(NON SOLO) RICETTARI. LETTERATURA GASTRONOMICA 

La produzione di ricette in veste letteraria costituisce un genere a sé stante, la letteratura gastronomica: non semplici ricette ma veri e propri tesori della cultura materiale, linguistica, letteraria. L’opera antesignana del ricettario moderno, è  quella di  Pellegrino Artusi (1820-1911), appassionato di gastronomia e autore de La scienza in cucina e l’arte di  mangiare bene 

La ricezione di questo manuale  fu piuttosto controversa ma un’ampia compagine di intellettuali ne intravide le interessanti potenzialità letterarie e linguistiche. Tra i sostenitori più accesi , Prezzolini e Camporesi che ne lodarono la capacità di innovare, attraverso un linguaggio specialistico come quello della cucina,  la lingua ottocentesca. I gallicismi e i francesismi usati dagli chef  d’oltralpe furono, per esempio, sostituiti da termini italiani, talvolta regionali. Tra i più interessanti,  entrati a far parte del vocabolario  e giunti fino a noi, segnalo:

 

 

Odori o mazzetto guarnito: erbaggi odorosi come carota, sedano, prezzemolo, basilico, ecc. Il mazzetto si lega come un filo […] Zucchero vanigliato: zucchero biondo a cui è stato l’odore della vaniglia […] Lardo: strutto di maiale che serve a vari usi ma più che altro per friggere. (A Napoli nzogna).

Oltre a diventare un modello gastronomico e linguistico per i futuri foodieteller, quest’opera ha avuto il merito di stabilire le linee base per una moderna “dietetica” intendendo con il mangiare bene non soltanto una scienza della buona condotta alimentare ma  anche una gestione globale della vita privata e dell’economia domestica.Il buon cibo non è solo nutrimento ma richiama il “gusto”, concetto di chiara derivazione estetica ma qui ampliato alle molteplici sensazioni sensoriali che un buon piatto può suscitare:

Perché quel che sodisfa ( sic)  gli altri sensi, pittura, musica, ecc., si dice arte, si ritiene cosa nobile, ed  ignobile invece ciò che sodisfa il gusto? Perché chi gode vedendo un bel quadro o sentendo una bella sinfonia è reputato superiore a chi gode mangiando un’eccellente vivanda?  Ci sono dunque tali ineguaglianze anche tra i sensi che chi lavora ha una camicia e chi non lavora ne ha due?

 

Nella prefazione alla terza edizione, Artusi coglie il nesso tra il cibo e il desiderio sessuale  anticipando uno dei leitmotiv di certa letteratura, prevalentemente sudamericana, che fa l’occhiolino all’eros in cucina:

Due sono le funzioni principali della vita: la nutrizione e la propagazione della specie; coloro quindi che rivolgendo la mente a questi due bisogni dell’esistenza , li studiano e suggeriscono norme onde vengano soddisfatti nel miglior modo possibile, per rendere meno triste la vita stessa, e per giovare all’umanità, sia lecito sapere che questa, non apprezzando le loro fatiche, sia almeno prodiga di un benigno compatimento.

 

RECETA PASIONARIA

  • Da menzionare, tra i ricettari di fine Ottocento,  un esempio che mi è particolarmente caro: il Ricettario di Juana  Manuela Gorriti  (1818- 1892) dal titolo Cocina Eclectica  ( in italiano nella traduzione di Edoardo Balletta, Cucina eclettica, l’America latina a tavola nell’800, Roma, Nova Delphi 2013)

 

download-1juana_manuela_gorriti

 

Nata a Salta, figlia di un generale del Partido Unitario,  attivista per l’Indipendenza, Juana si distingue per la sua vivacità intellettuale  e per la sua personalità prorompente.  Donna coltissima ( nel prologo dell’opera dice di conoscere  Omero, Virgilio, Plutarco, Corneille, Racine, Hugo), divide la sua vita tra l’attività di giornalista e di attivista politica.

Il Ricettario appare tale solo nella sua veste più superficiale. È in realtà uno splendido racconto corale, frutto dell’immaginazione e della convergenza di voci femminili che, come vere e proprie cantadoras, le custode delle vecchie storie, intrecciano memoria collettiva e vissuto personale.

images

Le ricette, scritte con la collaborazione delle amiche di Juana, tra cui figurano anche scrittrici importanti, sono un importante contributo alla costruzione della memoria della storia delle donne sudamericane di fine ‘800. Una memoria che parla della cultura dei subalterni, degli Indios e dei vinti della storia andina.Una vera e propria epica femminile che agevolmente, come farebbero delle intellettuali amanti del cibo, si snocciola tra gli ingredienti di ricette “eclettiche” che attingono alla alimentazione di nativi e a contaminazioni di vario genere. La “regina del focolare” ci ha mostrato come  prendere gli uomini per la gola  senza divenire, diremmo oggi, ‘casalinghe disperate’, ma rimanendo padrona delle proprie ambizioni;  una “protofemminista” senza le paura di mostrarsi femminile. Di  seguito una delle ricette più “ironiche”:

Zuppa teologa
Ecco qui, perché figuri nell’annunciata Cucina eclettica, la più buona e sostanziosa ricetta mai uscita dalle
mani di un cuoco. È parte integrante dei sontuosi banchetti con cui i Padri Agostiniani di Lima festeggiavano
gli ospiti invitati alle loro conferenze teologiche, da cui ha preso il nome. È composta da un brodo di carne
di tacchino, gallina, piccioni, manzo, agnello, comprese testa e zampe, e un pugno di ceci: il tutto salato a
piacere e cotto a fuoco lento in una casseruola coperta. Precedentemente avrete adagiato nella zuppiera
pezzi di pane a dadini, fritti nello strutto o nel burro, carote, piselli verdi, cavolo (già cotti in un brodo a
parte) e cipolle messe a bagno in acqua salata. Inoltre, tutte le frattaglie del pollame con cui si è fatto il
brodo: fegatini, cuore, animelle e ovaie, tagliati a pezzi piccoli e con l’aggiunta di fettine di uova sode. Su
tutto verserete il brodo bollente e, dopo aver coperto di nuovo la zuppiera, lascerete riposare dieci minuti
per poi servire. Questo alimento nutriente, la cui parte liquida è così fortificante, irrobustiva il cervello di
quegli incliti signori affinché studiassero le nebulose di quella scienza – dal nome così santo e
ciononostante tanto vana – per poi svolazzare, senza capirla, come calabroni intorno alla luce eterna: Dio.

 

Di tutt’altro tono ma sempre sulla falsariga dei ricettari letterari Ricette immorali di Manuel Vazquez Montalban (1939- 2003).

download-2

L’autore propone un vastissimo repertorio di ricette  arbitrariamente scelte e rimaneggiate.  Come ci annuncia nella premessa, le ricette sono ‘immorali’  in quanto propongono di scardinare le piatte abitudini culinarie e sessuali di chi intende coniugare la cucina  e il piacere. L’accostamento eros/cibo è declinato seguendo il filo di ricette tipicamente speziate e  “afrodisiache”.  Con fine ironia e acutezza psicologica, ogni ricetta è pensata per un partner ed una situazione erotica peculiare:

per esempio  sarebbe del tutto sconsigliabile cercare di metter assieme una fetta di lonza di maiale impanata servita con le mele e un partner bionda con carni  molli e denti radi. Questo tipo di partner è la fine del mondo con del fegato di pollo gratinato e spinaci mangiati con un po’ di svogliatezza

 

 AVANGUARDIA A TAVOLA!

Caso del tutto originale, il Manifesto della cucina futurista un pendant del Manifesto futurista di Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876-1944)   e Fillìa, pseudonimo di Luigi Colombo (1904-1036)

download
Il testo,che riecheggia nello stile e nei contenuti l’ideologia futurista già dispiegata nel Manifesto del 1909, è così costruito: una prima parte in cui si intende proporre un programma antitradizionalista di rinnovamento totale della cucina italiana in ossequio ai precetti di avanguardia e innovazione; l’abolizione della pastasciutta considerata il nemico numero uno, per la sua presunta capacità di appesantire lo stomaco e lo spirito del superuomo.

La seconda parte è una sorta di ricettario che propone piatti “plastici”, costruzioni verticali di cibi disposti in strati e coperti da ogni sorta di untume. Una parte considerevole è dedicata alla chimica degli alimenti, interessante anticipazione dell’odierna “cucina molecolare”:

 

Una dotazione di strumenti scientifici in cucina: ozonizzatori che diano il profumo dell’ozono a liquidi e a vivande, lampade per emissione di raggi ultravioletti (poiché molte sostanze alimentari irradiate con raggi ultravioletti acquistano proprietà attive, diventano più assimilabili, impediscono il rachitismo nei bimbi, ecc.) elettrolizzatori per scomporre succhi estratti ecc. in modo da ottenere da un prodotto noto un nuovo prodotto con nuove proprietà, mulini colloidali per rendere possibile la polverizzazione di farine, frutta 13 secca, droghe, ecc.; apparecchi di distillazione a pressione ordinaria e nel vuoto, autoclavi centrifughe, dializzatori. L’uso di questi apparecchi dovrà essere scientifico, evitando p. es. l’errore di far cuocere le vivande in pentole a pressione di vapore, il che provoca la distruzione di sostanze attive (vitamine, ecc.) a causa delle alte temperature. Gli indicatori chimici renderanno conto dell’acidità e della basicità degli intingoli e serviranno a correggere eventuali errori: manca di sale, troppo aceto, troppo pepe, troppo dolce

Una terza parte che fornisce i precetti per il perfetto convivio: dal pranzo dello scapolo al pranzo di nozze, fino al pranzo oltranzista corredato da un miniricettario:

Pranzo di nozze

I pranzi di nozze comuni sotto la loro apparente e ostentata festosità nascondono mille preoccupazioni: se sì o no sarà felice l’accoppiamento, dai punti di vista intellettuale, carnale, prolifico,carrieristico, economico.

[…] Regni quindi sul pranzo un equilibrismo. Una zuppiera di magnifica minestra da tutti conosciuta e amata ( riso, fegatini e fagioli in brodo di quaglie) sia revata in alto su tre dita dal cuoco stesso saltante sulla gamba sinistra. Giungerà o non giungerà?

 

 

 

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