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View Full Version : What's the origin of ravioli or dumpling type dishes in Europe?



ratchet_fan
25-06-20, 02:24
1.What's the origin of ravioli/cappelletti/tortellini? I keep on reading BS that Marco Polo took it (and pasta) from China but that seems very unlikely given recipes fro pasta before Marco Polo. Same thing with the idea that pizza and ice cream came from China when the history of pizza doesn't really go outside Italy and the ice cream has historical predecessors from Rome to Persia. Is there any evidence of influence from Asia in ravioli/pasta from Asia prior to Marco Polo? Or is this an example of independent inventions like I think?

2.What's the origin of the dumpling type dishes Eastern Europeans love? I would have figured that the origin would be in some sort of Turko-Mongol dish like manti or mandu.

But the Oxford companion to Food states a completely different history.

https://books.google.com/books?id=RL6LAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA434&lpg=PA434&dq=joshpara+oxford+companion+to+food&source=bl&ots=AJuzfXirPO&sig=ACfU3U01J1YZcqG4CBzOi1N6nQ8BFGbXCQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiRhujZ15vqAhUmCjQIHY71CmQQ6AEwA3oECAoQA Q#v=onepage&q=joshpara%20oxford%20companion%20to%20food&f=false

They apparently originate in an ancient Persian dish called Joshpara which is apparently "an ancient form of Iranian ravioli (or, to be exact cappelletti,meaning 'little hats')". Apparently Persian fur traders taught this to Finno-Ugric people from whom Russian then adopted them and I guess spread them back as far west as Poland.

Is this actually likely? That Iranians invented pasta/ravioli independently (that's actually not the first time I read it-many prominent food writers have argued for that) or is the Iranian dish some sort of derivative of some Chinese or Turko-Mongol dish?

Sorry for the long post. I'm somewhat of a food historian.

Angela
28-06-20, 17:38
I have no idea, but I can tell you that around 1350, when Boccaccio was writing the Decameron, he mentioned "ravioli" as a common food.

("...niuna altra cosa facevano che far maccheroni e raviuoli e cuocergli.)

They made both "maccheroni and ravioli". At that time, long before the Spaniards brought tomatoes back from the New World, they were often boiled in capon broth. In northern Italy that is still a very common way of cooking them. Anolini in brodo, which is what my Emilian grandmother taught my mother to make, was a specialty for Christmas Day and it's one of my favorite things.

https://blog.giallozafferano.it/caosecucina/wp-content/uploads/100_7736.jpg

My mother's specialty was a Lunigiana variation on ravioli alla genovese filled with meat, greens, cheese, eggs, herbs etc, and if there's any better dish, I haven't eaten it.
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Bit7Y7idWOQ/U3DDd-SbcqI/AAAAAAAABrs/6VKgbrHEddw/s1600/2014-May-04+Nicola+053.JPG

ratchet_fan
29-06-20, 01:36
I have no idea, but I can tell you that around 1350, when Boccaccio was writing the Decameron, he mentioned "ravioli" as a common food.

("...niuna altra cosa facevano che far maccheroni e raviuoli e cuocergli.)

They made both "maccheroni and ravioli". At that time, long before the Spaniards brought tomatoes back from the New World, they were often boiled in capon broth. In northern Italy that is still a very common way of cooking them. Anolini in brodo, which is what my Emilian grandmother taught my mother to make, was a specialty for Christmas Day and it's one of my favorite things.

https://blog.giallozafferano.it/caosecucina/wp-content/uploads/100_7736.jpg

My mother's specialty was a Lunigiana variation on ravioli alla genovese filled with meat, greens, cheese, eggs, herbs etc, and if there's any better dish, I haven't eaten it.
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Bit7Y7idWOQ/U3DDd-SbcqI/AAAAAAAABrs/6VKgbrHEddw/s1600/2014-May-04+Nicola+053.JPG

That second dish looks absolutely delicious.

Deird
29-06-20, 13:17
1.What's the origin of ravioli/cappelletti/tortellini? I keep on reading BS that Marco Polo took it (and pasta) from China but that seems very unlikely given recipes fro pasta before Marco Polo. Same thing with the idea that pizza and ice cream came from China when the history of pizza doesn't really go outside Italy and the ice cream has historical predecessors from Rome to Persia. Is there any evidence of influence from Asia in ravioli/pasta from Asia prior to Marco Polo? Or is this an example of independent inventions like I think?

Ravioli cannot be very ancient in Europe, otherwise they would certainly be much more widespread.

ratchet_fan
29-06-20, 13:36
Ravioli cannot be very ancient in Europe, otherwise they would certainly be much more widespread.

I mean at least back to 1350 according to that reference Angela provided. Doesn't seem to be from China imo.

Angela
29-06-20, 15:06
We're just talking about filled dumplings. Many cultures have created them, just calling them by different names and including different fillings. It has nothing to do with Marco Polo. :)

For example, there are pierogi from Poland; I think the Ukrainians have their own version.

https://cooking-the-world.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/b_pierogi-with-meat-polish-dumplings-low.jpg

I could go on and on...

As for Italian ravioli, as I said they were already extremely common by the early 1300s. I think that's pretty old. Risotto is an even older technique, related to the puls of Rome.

Pasta is as old as Rome, as this video makes clear, providing links to ancient sources.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlDSUttS3-o

In my particular area we still use some cooking techniques which probably go back to the dawn of agriculture, but were certainly used in Roman times, although less and less as time goes on.

Panigacci...flour, salt, water, no leavening, probably the oldest bread of all...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sk89kz57oz4

Bread, meat, stews, everything was, up until relatively recent times, cooked in what you could call terracotta Dutch Ovens. This was the way the Romans cooked too in many cases.
https://i.imgur.com/ADhmH3u.png

Clearly, we hold on to our traditions.

ratchet_fan
29-06-20, 17:08
We're just talking about filled dumplings. Many cultures have created them, just calling them by different names and including different fillings. It has nothing to do with Marco Polo. :)

For example, there are pierogi from Poland; I think the Ukrainians have their own version.

https://cooking-the-world.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/b_pierogi-with-meat-polish-dumplings-low.jpg

I could go on and on...

As for Italian ravioli, as I said they were already extremely common by the early 1300s. I think that's pretty old. Risotto is an even older technique, related to the puls of Rome.

Pasta is as old as Rome, as this video makes clear, providing links to ancient sources.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlDSUttS3-o

In my particular area we still use some cooking techniques which probably go back to the dawn of agriculture, but were certainly used in Roman times, although less and less as time goes on.

Panigacci...flour, salt, water, no leavening, probably the oldest bread of all...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sk89kz57oz4

Bread, meat, stews, everything was, up until relatively recent times, cooked in what you could call terracotta Dutch Ovens. This was the way the Romans cooked too in many cases.
https://i.imgur.com/ADhmH3u.png

Clearly, we hold on to our traditions.

With Eastern European dumplings most food historians do argue they came from Turks (some argue from Persian fur traders too).
However, I don't think that applies to dumpling dishes or pasta in Italy.

But in general there seems to be an effort to give non Europeans credit for things that were probably independently invented in Europe and elsewhere. For example this some people consider vegetable fermentation to have been invented in China. Even though the article fully admits fish fermentation was ancient in Europe. Not to mention I believe Romans had things similar to sauerkraut (they also independently invented fish sauce too).

http://blogs.evergreen.edu/terroir-savannah/history-of-sauerkraut/

I've even heard that sorbet/gelato were brought back by Marco Polo. Not sure who's making up these stories. Even though Romans, Persians and Chinese all had shaved ice with fruit deserts and likely all three cultures invented them independently. Not a hard thing to invent.

I do wonder if there's truth to the idea that many Roman cooks were slaves from Greece or Anatolia though.

ratchet_fan
29-06-20, 21:55
Also curious when Germanic people started eating egg noodles and where did they learn to make that?

Also were ducks/geese independently domesticated in Europe or did Arabs get them from SE Asia?