Perhaps the best way to cook sturgeon

Sopra terrai lo storione che sia un poco passato, trito o frolo et non frescho; se vole che sia bono in perfectione habi di bon vino bianco o aceto mescolato con acqua pura che sia tanto l'uno quanto l'altro, et del sale a sofficentia; et qui lo farai molto bene allessare facendolo bollire per tanto spatio quanto faresti la carne de vitello o de manzo, secundo la sua grandeza tagliandolo in pezi grandi et grossi come pare alla tua discretione; ma chi per più magnificentia lo vole cotto integro faccia d'avere li vasi grandi et capaci a cocerlo sano como fa il mio Signore, perchè ogni pesce è molto migliore integro che in pezi o altramente. a whole surgeon
white wine
Allow the sturgeon to age until it is rather mature; that is, it must be soft, crumbly, not firm. To cook it perfectly, get a little fine white wine or vinegar, mix it with an equal quantity of water and the right amount of salt, and simmer the sturgeon in the mixture for the same amount of time as for veal or beef (depending, of course, on the weight and the size of the pieces, which should be quite large). Those who wish to cook the sturgeon whole, for greater magnificence, must get pots that are large enough to hold the entire shebang - as does my Lord - because any fish is better when it is cooked whole, rather than in pieces or in any other way.


Martino suggests simmering the sturgeon whole, in large fish kettles, as any cook would - even in modern times. This recipe is followed by a list of sauces for accompanying boiled fish, and it seems that "white garlic sauce" was Martino's favourite. This condiment is prepared by crushing almonds, garlic, ginger and bread crumbs together in the mortar while adding fish broth. However, Renaissance cooks had differing opinions on how to boil sturgeon. Unlike Martino, Bartolomeo Scappi (who cooked for Pope Pius V), in his 1570 work entitled Opera, claimed that "the best boiled sturgeon is prepared with plain water & salt, rather than with wine, & it should be cut into a lot of pieces." Sturgeon was a very popular dish, and is still commonly found in Italian rivers, especially the Po. It was served in many different ways, and was even preserved. Indeed, when salted and dried, it was used to prepare a speciality with spinal marrow and prime beef, "morona" and naturally-caviar with eggs.

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