Pork, too, was eaten in great quantities-young suckling pic roasted on the spit, with a spray of
rosemary in the mouth (such as may still be seen in Italian country fairs), pounded pork in pies, hams and sausages and mortadella.* People who had their own pigs cured them, of course, themselves, smoked their own hams, and made their own sausages-but, in addition, we find Francesco sending some sausages to his wife from Florence. Pork was also much used-together with veal, capons, fish, and
spices-for making jelly, which was made very strong and stiff, and was considered a great delicacy. Thus, when the wife and daughters of Guido del Palagio were about to spend a day with the Datinis in Prato, pork jelly was to be one of the main dishes, “to do honour to all these folk without too much trouble.” “You should prepare tomorrow,” Francesco wrote to his wife, “a great basin of pork jelly, and I will give orders for a man to bear it on his head. And if it be well made and stiff, it will travel well, for the weather is not hot.”
(*A recipe of the time for “good and perfect mortadella”: “Take a pigs liver and boil it, and take good herbs and pepper and eggs and cheese and as much salt as is needful, and beat them together in a pestle, and make paste and mix them with some of the liver. And then take away the membrane and make the mortadella, and when they are made, fry them in good dripping and serve them hot.” Libro di cucina, Recipe XLVI.)
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