By Nora Vasconcelos
Some time ago, a friend of mine asked me what I wanted for a Christmas present. The answer took less than a second: The collection of notes about food by Leonardo Da Vinci.
My friend gave me a strange look, but said nothing. Later on, when we met again, he came with the book all wrapped up, and then he told me: “Only because you said the book existed, but I went to the bookstore fearing the clerk would laugh at me. Anyways, I asked for the book, and I got all surpised when he actually put it on my hands”.
The book, printed in Madrid under the title of Notas de Cocina de Leonardo Da Vinci, is a collection of the notes that the Italian painter made during the time he lived in Milan, working for Ludivico Sforza, duke of that city by the end of the 15th century.
Thanks to this experience, Leonardo started to write down the things he saw regarding the meals that were served for the upper class and the manners that were kept while taking those meals.
But the painter also jotted down all sort of notes about the eating habits of the people with less money. The collection refers as well to some plates created by Leonardo himself, mixing the ingredients the same as he used to mix the colors on his palet.