20 apr Nietzsche and the Piedmontese cooking
In 1888, Friedrich Nietzsche lived in Turin for a few months. There, in addition to studying and writing his masterpiece “Ecce Homo,” he went completely out of his mind.
In Turin, he also learned to appreciate good cooking, as evidenced by his letters to his mother and friends back in Germany. He wrote about “bagna cauda”, “cotechino” and “tajarin” as if they were the food of the gods. The discovery of these letters allows us to state that if, according to him, the “Übermensch” is not so much the single individual, but rather the manifestation of our more authentic essence, understood as a primal force of life existing beyond any laws, then the Über-cuisine must indeed be Italian cuisine, standing miles above the rest.
“Piedmontese cooking! I had no idea how much Italians surpass all others in the art of preparing meals! And in their quality!,” Nietzsche wrote in a letter to his friend Peter Gast. And he went on, “My entire youth, I’ve always and only eaten badly!” Lentils, chicken “alla Babi”, gnocchi and roasted veal were true revelations to the philosopher. “Such quality in the preparation! What an accurate, wise and refined cuisine!”.
His definitive illumination, maybe the apex of his Dionysian concept, came at Christmastime, “Only God knows what we call this in German! Today I ate “ossibuchi!” and this from the man who wrote that “God is dead.” Could we say that he literally went crazy for Piedmontese cooking?
History Stefano Bruno
Painting Yuri Gamberoni