This recipe came about as a result from preparing to enter the Wooden Pin Competition at AEthelmearc War Practice in May 2009 (Anno Societatis XLIV). Although the modernized recipe was not complete by the time of the competition, the translation that I had interpretted from the information provided for the competition was completed. Included here are the notes I had in my first experience in translating a recipe from a language that was not English.
My deepest gratitude to Ariane Helou (known in the SCA as Viscountess Vittoria Aureli, O.L.) for reviewing my transcription and translation and providing valuable feedback.
The following recipe for “A fare dieci Ritortelli alla Melanese pieni e uvoti” is from.
My approach to translating the text was to use a variety of sources since I do not speak nor write Modern Italian, let alone Italian of the 16th century. In fact, I do not speak nor write any of the romance languages. I first used Yahoo!® Babel Fish for a base translation, knowing many of the words would not be translated or mistranslated but it may prove to be useful in translating some of the grammar. I also used Italian-English dictionaries of the 17th and 20th centuries for confirming the base translation and confirming the translation of the words as they fell in context of the recipe. I also used these dictionaries in order to translate the words that Babel Fish was unable to translate. In support of the translation and some of the culinary specific terminology I used the available facsimiles or transcriptions of 14th – 16th century Italian culinary texts along with their translations into modern English. These translations helped me to confirm the context of this translation. Then I asked Ariane Helou if she could review my translation, having earned some reknown in the SCA Cook's community for her translation of the anonymous Tuscan culinary manuscript Libro della Cocina.
There were three particular challenges I faced while translating the original recipe. The first challenge was the variations in the spelling of certain words based on the tense. In reviewing the dictionaries there were certain variations provided and the words chosen made sense in context of the recipe. The second challenge was what I believe to be errors in the transcription of the original recipe. These errors were relatively minor based on the quality of the images provided, but making these “corrections” made the difference in the ability to find a word that made sense in context as opposed to finding a translation that did not make sense or not finding the word at all. I do believe that these errors would be difficult to find unless the person was highly knowledgeable of 16th century Italian or attempting to translate it. I explain in my End Notes, the errors I detected. The third challenge was taking a look at several meanings of some of the words and choosing which meaning, I thought was the most logical in context with the recipe.
Original Transcription and Images of Recipe from Facsimile1
RITORTELLI ALLA MELANESE PIENI, E UVOTI
A fare dicci2 Ritortelli alla Melanese pieni e uvoti. Piglia libre quarto di fiore di Farina, & Torli dicci3 d’voua, & di Zuccaro oncie due, & di Butiro oncie sei, & d’acqua rosata oncie tre, e fa la tua pasta reale, menandola un pezzo. Poi ne farai dieci parti, in dieci spoglie. Poi pigliarai di Zuccar oncie otto, & di canella pesta oncie due, & de pignuoli mondi libre due, & d’Vua passa libra una, e messederai tutte queste cose in sieme4: Poi liggiermente cargherai le dette spoglie di questa compositione, ungendole prima con libra una di Butiro fresco disfatto. Poi ne farai un Tortiglione, à guisa de Zaldone ad uno ad uno, poi gli farai in rotella, ponendoli in due Tielle onte, non potendo stare in una, e gli an-darai stendendo colle mani destramente, ponendoli tra di sotto, e sopra libre due di Butiro, e poi le porrai cuocere: come seran quasi cotte, li porrai sopra libra una e mezza di Zuccaro. E per uariare alcume uolte5 un poco di persutto minuto, e Datteri, o cibibo tagliato in pezzi, o d’altro, secondo che ti parerà, e se sarà di Quaresima, ò Vigilia, farai con la pasta, come si fanno i fiadoncelli magri, come ti sar à6 mostrato, & ancho li petrai7 fare uvoti, à guisa delle sfogliatine per uariare.
The following transcription is based upon the errors I believe I discovered while attempting to do the translation of the original recipe.
—. 2005. The Art of Cooking - The First Modern Cookery Book. [ed.] Jeremy Parzen. [trans.] Jeremy Parzen. Berkeley : University of California Press, 2005. This is a translation of the work of Maestro Martino of Como's Libro de Arte Coquinaria. It includes 50 modernized recipes by Stefania Barzini. ISBN 0-520-23271-2.
Florio, John. 1611. Queen Anna's New World of Words. Facsimile edition by The Scolar Press Limited, Menston (England) 1968. London : Edw. Blount and William Barret, 1611. An early 17th century Italian-English dictionary as made available at http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/florio/.
Hoare, Alfred. 1915. An Italian Dictionary. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1915. p. 798. This modern Italian-English Dictionary contains many antique and dialect terms along with their derivation. A Digital copy is available at http://www.archive.org/details/italiandictionar00hoaruoft.
Scappi, Bartolomeo. 1570. Opera di M. Bartolomeo Scappi. s.l. : Michael Tramezzino, 1570. p. 939. A facsimile of the 1570 publication of Opera di M. Bartolomeo Scappi as found at http://alfama.sim.ucm.es/dioscorides/consulta_libro.asp?ref=X533351951&idioma=1 as provided by Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
—. 2008. The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi (1570). [ed.] Terence Scully. [trans.] Terence Scully. Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 2008. p. 787. An English translation of the 1570 publication of Opera di M. Bartolomeo Scappi including commentary on Bartolomeo Scappi and an analysis of the Opera itself.. ISBN 978-0-8020-9264-1.
—. 2005. Anonimo Toscano, Libro della Cocina. Dar Anahita: The Dining Niche. [Online] May 2005. [Cited: March 31, 2009.] A translation of the anonymous Tuscan manuscript "Libro della Cocina" written between the late 14th and early 15th centuries based on the text published by Thomas Gloning at http://www.uni-giessen.de/gloning/tx/an-tosc.htm. http://www.geocities.com/anahita_whitehorse/LibroDellaCocina.html.
The original recipe and these images of the recipe were provided on the Æthelmearc War Practice XX website (http://warpractice.steltonwald.org/pin2.shtml).
I believe this word to be dieci not dicci as provided in the transcription, as the translation of dicci is “to tell us” where dieci is “ten” which seems to make more sense in context with the remainder of the recipe.
I was unable to find a translation of the word sieme, however the translation of insieme is “together”.
I was unable to find a translation of the word alcume, however the translation of alcune uolte is “sometimes”.
This appears to be a hyphenated word, it should be sarà instead of sar à.
I believe this word to be potrai not petrai as provided in the transcription, as the translation of petrai is “to tell us” where potrai is “to be able” which seems to make more sense in context with the remainder of the recipe.