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The many links between Leonardo Da Vinci, Tuscany, Madeira and portuguese culture.

Good morning, boa tarde, buongiorno,

Thanks for to be here, let me introduce our company Mona Lisa Cafe and the breaf history of Tuscany, the region we came from. I’m going to speaking italian because our language is born at the court of Frederick 11 of Swabia in south of Italy , but in Tuscany, it knew perfection and spread thanks at works of Dante Alighieri and Cecco Angiolieri.

Our Company, was born in Leonardo Da Vinci’s birthplace. There after a long work, it started the idea of bring the Tuscany tradition’s in Madeira.
The Tuscany is an ancient earth, inhabited fiom Etruscan and from there we have inherited the word “Clante” that means: earth rich and full of water.

Then it became “Chianti” and with this word is named the most famous wine in the world.
The sheep cheese history in Tuscany, is very ancient and it started with the themselves Etruscan and Latin people, it mentioned from Plinio the Oldest, in his book “Naturalis Historia”, where he wrote about the Cheese’s production. The sheep cheese was celebrate in the 15th century from Lorenzo i1 Magnifico, Lord of Florence and it became one of the most important food at Princes and Pope’s tables. It was exported from Caterina de’ Medici, it became the cheese of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. In the XIX Century the pecorino cheese it was produced under specific rules, is made with sheep’s milk in three types: fresh one, seasoned one and aromatic one.

In Tuscany tradition it used like table cheese or grated on dishes or to give flavour at meat dishes or combined with cold cuttered and different souces, like truffle souce and honey.
The pig's art the work in Tuscany is ancient also, it date back to Etruscan and Latin People and mentioned from Hipocrate that he praises the nutritional properties. At same way Plinio the Oldest it wrote about it in his book “Naturalis Historia” and Catone describe the way how to preserve it in the book (De Agricultura). Afler the fall of Roman Empire the pig became one of most important resources in small villages. From XII Century onwards, there was a strong increase of crafts linked at meat’s work and various sources tell to us that this kind of production, became so strong to be present like main course at noble’s tables. At beginning of XIX Century start to opened firts workshops and shops. In Europe, the cold cuttered was wide spread from illustrious personalities like Paganini and Rossini.
And now to close,few background about truffle, this is one of ingredients of our products. It at also date back at Etruscan and Latin times. It mentioned always fron Plinio the Oldest.

The legend say that trufer was born from a Jupiter’s lightning lashed near at old oak, gods ‘5 sacred tree. From here the fame of his flavour and intense fragrance, spread it and truffle became a main presence at tables of Kings , Princes and Popes. It called “garlic’s rich” because of the typical garlic smell. The word “tartufo” in italian language, it started to spread in Italy during the XVII century, but other translations in european countries, gave new words like “trufle” in France, “truffel” in Germany, “truffle” in England, “trufa” in Portugal. In 1831 the book “Monografia Tubercerarum” by Carlo Vittorini, gave at world the first scientific classification of truflle’s categories.

Finally the italian restaurateur Giacomo Morra, decided to do a great advertising of white truffle at Alba’s Fairin 1929. He achieved higly successfull at national and international level. After this , have been several examples until today.

Buon Appettito!