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Romoli: more on beans and mushrooms

I've finished scouring Romoli's menus for references to mangiar bianco, beans, and mushrooms now and am moving onto Scappi.

The interesting thing that I noticed regarding the cooking of beans and mushrooms is just how much this drops off over winter, and I'm wondering if I'll find the same thing in Scappi.

For the beans, what I found was that there was a single appearance over the two months of November and December, on the 18th of December. Compare this to the four times they are served in January, six appearances in each of July and August, and a whopping ten appearances in May - maybe this explains why the beans weren't served in June, because everyone was thoroughly sick of them, but I think it's more likely to be because they weren't available then for whatever reason. I was surprised that beans weren't served more over winter, as I would have thought that they would have been stored dried, but this seems not to be the case. Romoli's year of menus runs from March 1546 to February 1547. The other interesting thing that I noted here is that broadbeans (faue) are only served from March to May of 1546. They then drop off the menu entirely until 26/01/1547, and are only served once in February also. The broadbeans are served either as a soup/pottage, or with salt and fish sauce. The other beans (fagiuoli) are sometimes served as a soup/pottage, but most often are simply served "dressed" (riconci).

The mushrooms appear to possibly have supply issues, or maybe it's seasonality that I'm unaware of because mushrooms just aren't something I grow. They put in an appearance once in the second half of March, then feature heavily in April, but duck out completely for May and June before putting in a single appearance on the third of July. No mushrooms for August, then three appearances in September and a whopping ten in October - with three servings being part of the same day's menu, and two of the three in the same course!! Nothing until the end of November, where they are served twice on 29/11, then back to nothing for December. In January they don't put in an appearance until the 22nd, and then that's it for the month, followed by a final appearance on the 19th of February. As someone who eats mushrooms at least five times a week, this comparative dearth is hard to fathom!

Statistics on the mushrooms (because I like to run numbers) is a total of 25 appearances in one year: so on those occasions where they are served twice or three times as part of the same day's menu, that's quite proportionately high in terms of the total serving amount. They type or area the mushrooms are grown is sometimes mentioned, with five mentions of the mushrooms being Genoese, four that they are "prataroli", and eight that they are porcini mushrooms. Serving them with a nut and garlic sauce is definitely the preferred method, with this being mentioned on 15 occasions. Garlic is omitted from the description on nine of these occasions, but I'm wondering if it is simply omitted because it's taken for granted that you serve mushrooms with garlic - Messisbugo in his recipe for cooking mushrooms mentions that garlic is used to draw out any poison the mushrooms might contain. I've often wondered if this is where our practice originally started, since people today still like eating mushrooms fried with garlic. Mind you, garlic makes plenty of things taste better. Finally, on three occasions the mushrooms are described as stuffed, but Romoli doesn't mention what with. I was slightly surprised not to see higher servings over winter, as I know they were storing mushrooms by salting, but perhaps given their apparent patchiness overall this shouldn't be surprising. The servings in January and February both specify that the mushrooms are salted and desalted, so presumably without stored mushrooms those months wouldn't have had any servings of mushrooms either.