A Dutch translation of Bartolomeo Scappi’s Opera (1612)

Note: This article was originally written in 2003. The web version has been slightly edited to correct some errors. An edited version of this article appeared in 2003 in Petits Propos Culinaires1. A translated and edited version was published in Italian in 2003 by Appunti di gastronomia2

Henri Notaker was the first to notice similarities between Bartolomeo Scappi’s Opera (1570) and a Dutch cookery-book published in Louvain in 1612 and republished in Antwerp in 1655 and 1663.3 The cookery-book in question, Koocboec oft Familieren Keukenboec (Cookery-book or Familiar Kitchen Book), was written by someone who called himself M. Antonius Magirus.4) Only two copies of the first5 and second editions6 and one of the last known edition survive7
The Koocboec is the only cookery-book published in the Spanish Netherlands between 15568 and 16689 and one of only two cookery-books published in the Dutch language in the seventeenth century10. It was printed just three years after the signing of the Twelve Years Truce between the Dutch Republic and Spain, which signaled a short but very welcome respite in the Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648), one of the bloodiest conflicts in early modern Europe.

  1. Schildermans, J., & Sels, H. (december 2003). “A Dutch Translation of Bartolomeo Scappi’s Opera”. Petits Propos Culinaires, 59-70. []
  2. Schildermans, J., & Sels, H. (2003). “Una traduzione olandese dell’Opera di Bartolomeo Scappi”, in Appunti di gastronomia (42). []
  3. Notaker, Henry 2002 “Comments on the interpretation of plagiarism”, in Petits Propos Culinaires, 70, 59-60. []
  4. KOOCBOEC OFT FAMILIEREN KEVKEN-BOEC Bequaem voor alle Jouffrouwen, die hun van keucken-handel oft backen van Toertkens ende Taertkens willen verstaen. Gemaect Door M. Antonius Magirus. TOT LOVEN. By Io. Christoph. Flavivs. ANNO 1612. (Cookery-book or Familiar Kitchen Book Suited for all Ladies, who want to understand the workings of the kitchen or how to bake pancakes and tarts. Made by M. Antonius Magirus. In Louvain etc. []
  5. 1612 Edition: Brussels: Royal Library, III 17.312 A L.P and Hilversum: Private Collection, W359/D3. []
  6. 1655 Edition: Hilversum: Private Collection, W360/D3 and Asherbooks Rare Books. []
  7. 1663 Edition: Antwerp: City Library, H 83740. Of the 1663 edition there also exists an incomplete copy in an unknown private collection (mentioned in Geluyckens, Walter 1999 “Gastronomie ten tijde van de Aartshertogen Albrecht en Isabella”, in Mededelingsblad en verzamelde opstellen ASG, 17/1, 46-55). A copy of the 1612 edition in the collection of the British Library was destroyed during World War II (Catalogue number D-07944.de.8. Linda Raymond, British Library, e-mail dd. 30/7/2002). []
  8. Vorselman, Gheeraert [1556]. Cockx-Indestege, Elly [red.] 1971 Eenen Nyeuwen Coock Boeck. Kookboek samengesteld door Gheeraert Vorselman en gedrukt te Antwerpen in 1560. Wiesbaden: Pressler. []
  9. De Verstandige Kock, oft Sorghvuldige Huys-houdster [etc.] t’Antwerpen, By Reynier Sleghers […] 1668. Ghent, University Library, Acc. 4505. []
  10. The other being several editions of De Verstandige Kock (The Sensible Cook), published in both the Southern and Northern Netherlands during the 17th century. English translation: Rose, Peter G. 1989 The Sensible Cook. Dutch Foodways in the Old and the New World. Syracuse: University Press. []

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