~ Majuri, Italy 1777 (south of Naples on the Amalfi Coast)
“The people of Majuri are active and industrious, trading in fruits of their own growth, and in macaroni made with wheat which they draw from Puglia: by their skilful method of compounding and kneading the flour, or from some peculiar excellence in the water and climate, they make the best paste in the kingdom.”
Swinburne, Henry. Travels in the Two Sicilies…. In the years 1777… London: 1790
~ Naples 1806
~ Naples 1806
One cannot take ten steps in the street without meeting with great coppers filled with macaroni ready prepared, sprinkled over with cheese, and sometimes decorated with little pieces of tomates. The Neapolitans have an art in eating macaroni which is peculiar to themselves, and can only be acquired among them. They draw it out to a certain length, then taking it securely between the finger and thumb, they raise it very high, and let it fall into the mouth. It is prepared simply by boiling with cheese; about five or six minutes at most. Those who admire it, add a little of the liver of a fowl to it, which renders it very inviting.
The Literary Panorama, vol 1 Oct. 1806
~ Naples suburbs 1856 and first image
"MACARONI. A favorite and common food of the Italians is called macaroni. It is made of flour, butter, and grated cheese. These articles are first mingled together into a thick paste, which is drawn out into small tubes and dried. It is then ready for cooking.
In the suburbs of Naples it is a common thing to see large quantities of macaroni hung up to dry in the sun. It is, of course, only a cheap quality that is thus exposed to dust and dirt. However, many thousands of the Neapolitans can only afford to buy a cheap quality. To accommodate such, many shops and public stands in the streets are devoted to cooking and selling macaroni.
Our engraving shows a lusty macaroni cook, who appears as though he made free use of the article he sells. Close at hand is one of his customers, who, knowing how to use fingers better than knives and forks, allows the slippery tubes to glide down his throat in the directest manner.
Macaroni is an article of export from Italy. It finds its way into most of the countries of Europe and America; but nowhere else is it used so commonly as in the country where it is principally made.
Sigourney, Lydia. Boy’s & Girl’s Illustrated Olio. NY: 1856
More posts on macaroni HERE
©2019 Patricia Bixler Reber
Researching Food History HOME