Food historian Ivan Day will guide us through the curiosities of Italian gastronomy a couple of centuries before the arrival of the tomato. In 14th century Padua the revival of Classical mechanics not only resulted in the earliest European clocks, but also the world’s first mechanical spit, the must-have gizmo of any up-to-date Renaissance kitchen. Surprisingly this was also a time when pasta was served with a sprinkling of parmesan, cinnamon and sugar and a pizza sported a topping of almonds, pine nuts and dates.

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