Llibre d’Aparellar de Menjar

Llibre d’Aparellar de Menjar Facsimile Edition

Spain — Second half of the 14th century

With no less than 300 recipes from the 14th century and earlier: one of the oldest recipe books of Catalonia's famous cuisine and a milestone of the culinary arts

  1. Catalan cuisine was already considered to be a byword for delectation in the Middle Ages

  2. This 14th century notebook contains 300 recipes and is one of the oldest such specimens in existence

  3. It conveys an unadulterated inside view into the culinary culture of wealthy Catalans in the 14th century

Llibre d’Aparellar de Menjar

  1. Description
  2. Single Page
  3. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Llibre d’Aparellar de Menjar

In the second half of the 14th century, a true treasure of culinary literature was created in Spain: the famous Llibre d'Aparellar de Menjar is one of the oldest recipe books of Catalan cuisine and thus an important historical testimony to Catalan food culture, which was already praised in the Middle Ages. On 80 pages, this fascinating cookbook brings together around 300 recipes and thus conveys a vivid picture of the everyday culture of the wealthy Catalans in the late Middle Ages. Today, the culinary document is kept in the Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya in Barcelona under the shelfmark Ms. 2112.

Llibre d’Aparellar de Menjar

Catalan cuisine was already considered to be a byword for delectation in the Middle Ages. Numerous chroniclers and other authors corroborate and praise the mastery of Catalan cuisine and its variety. A few medieval cookbooks attesting to this famous culinary tradition are in existence: the Llibre de Sent Soví originates in the first half of the 14th century inter alia, followed a short time later by the famous Llibre d’Aparellar de Menjar.

An Anonymous Recipe Collection of Historical Significance

Composed by an anonymous author, the Llibre d’Aparellar de Menjar is stored today in the National Library of Catalonia in Barcelona. It contains a comprehensive collection of nearly 300 recipes. The precious manuscript is thereby one of the oldest Catalonian cookbooks and one of the oldest testimonials to the gastronomic culture of Catalonia. The recipes, while certainly historical, are still very tasty today and are recorded in Catalonian with elegant script in two columns.

The Legendary Culinary Culture of Catalonia

Llibre d’Aparellar de Menjarconveys an unadulterated inside view into the culinary culture of wealthy Catalans in the 14th century – only the upper class benefited from reading books at the time. Part of the recipes contained come from various older cookbooks, e.g Llibre de Sent Soví. Thus, the Llibre d’Aparellar de Menjar is a testimonial to the impressive culinary culture that already existed in medieval Catalonia with great significance up to the present. Llibre d’Aparellar de Menjar is considered to be a milestone of culinary history – particularly, but not only, for Catalonia!

Codicology

Size / Format
80 pages / 27.0 × 20.0 cm
Origin
Spain
Date
Second half of the 14th century
Style
Language
Script
Cursive
Illustrations
Filigree paragraph markers for organizing the various recipes
Content
Cookbook with nearly 300 Catalan recipes

Available facsimile editions:
Llibre d’Aparellar de Menjar – Ms. 2112 – Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya (Barcelona, Spain) Facsimile Edition
Millennium Liber – Madrid, 2014
Limited Edition: 995 copies
Single Page

Llibre d’Aparellar de Menjar

Fol. 31r

This milestone of culinary history was copied by a single scribe who used a thin and pointed pen to write in an elegant cursive script that was typically used in documents. It features numerous abbreviations and ligatures but there are virtually no notes written in the margins. The beginning of each new recipe is marked by a cross.

The clear, almost stylish Catalan text is presented in two columns with impeccably straight margins, which were marked in pencil by the scribe or a rubricator beforehand. This is clearly the work of a master scribe who unfortunately remains anonymous and who left the manuscript incomplete for equally mysterious reasons – they stopped writing mid-sentence on the last page.

Llibre d’Aparellar de Menjar
Facsimile Editions

#1 Llibre d’Aparellar de Menjar

Millennium Liber – Madrid, 2014

Publisher: Millennium Liber – Madrid, 2014
Limited Edition: 995 copies
Binding: The facsimile, bound in leather using specially aged paper and folded and stiched by hand, comes in an elegant case.
Commentary: 1 volume by Joan Santanach i Suñol and Mònica Barrieras i Angàs
Language: Catalan
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
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