Remedy: Should you be wanting to do something positive, make this part of your legacy for future generations, you can participate in restoring the manuscript with donation –any amount, even $10. is ten dollars more than they have now, to save an ancient part of our history. The Great Fire in Rome destroyed nearly all the books written up to that time. What a splendid treasure has survived, can be restored. If you know an individual or an organization who would like to donate to help restore this ancient manuscript: please forward.
Help Save Marcus Apicius!
Most Culinary Historians know about the cookery manuscript attributed to Marcus Apicius, the first century Roman gourmand. Containing five hundred recipes, the manuscript was assembled and hand copied in the fourth century. In the ninth century, monks at the Fulda monastery in Germany recopied the recipes in a simple manuscript adorned by red letters. This ninth century manuscript has amazingly survived through twelve hundred years of wars and natural disasters and is believed to be the earliest copy of Apicius, the only recipe collection we have from the ancient Mediterranean.
During the Reformation, the manuscript was shipped to the Vatican Library, which also owned another, slightly later, set of Apicius’s recipes. The Vatican sold the Fulda manuscript to a private collector. The manuscript was sold at auction and eventually was given to the New York Academy of Medicine. The 1,200 year old manuscript is falling apart and needs to be rebound. The New York Academy of Medicine approached a professional manuscript restorer; the estimated cost of rebinding is $15,000.
The Culinary Trust, the philanthropic partner of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) has taken on the task of raising the necessary funds to restore this manuscript and to promote the importance of preserving our culinary heritage. All funds collected will go directly to this restoration project. For more information about the Trust, go to: The Culinary Trust
I’d be delighted to answer any questions– please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew F. Smith
Vice Chair/Chair elect
The Culinary Trust
Tags: ancient Food, ancient meals, ancient manuscript, Roman ancient recipes, printed matter restoration, Culinary Historians