Old Polish Cuisine

The project conducted in 2009 in cooperation with the Wilanów Palace Museum. It is aimed at a wide circle of interested parties. It was the preparation of the republishing of the first cookery book written in the Polish language. The work entitled “Compendium Ferculorum or a collection of dishes” was written upon request of the governor of Kraków Aleksander Michał Lubomirski. His author was a chef of the prince’s kitchen – Stanisław Czerniecki who worked at the Wiśnicz castle. It includes 333 recipes of Old Polish cuisine. It was published for the first time in 1682 with the dedication to Princess Helena Tekla. It is divided into three parts. In the first part there are recipes for meat dishes, in the second one – fish dishes. The third part contains descriptions of milk dishes, pâté, cakes and pastries. Each one is ended with “the chef’s secret”. The current, meticulously prepared edition was met with positive response amongst scientists and critics. Positive reviews of the work appeared in countrywide magazines.

The book was published at the highest scientific and technical level. The introduction was written by Stanisław Lubomirski. It was edited by Jarosław Dumanowski, Associate Professor and Magdalena Spychaj, MA. The editors met high requirements of professional editing of historical sources. They prepared the scientific introduction, author biography, glossary of culinary terms, and index of dishes and ingredients. The text is accompanied by appropriate commentary, which makes both scientists and other readers can easily use the work.

The publishing of this Old Polish cookery book is a part of the promotion of the written word and long-term project of publishing interesting and important sources to the history of Poland. It expands and promotes the state of our knowledge. It seems interesting not only for historians and enthusiasts, but for all fans of good cuisine. It begins a publishing series of Old Polish cookery books entitled “Monumenta Poloniae Culinaria”.

The authorities of the Foundation have decided to support the publishing house, because it carries a high cognitive value. It is among the rare works. Once it had a practical value, such as cookery books, themed magazines, websites and television programs popular today do. Refreshing the forgotten recipes can enrich our today’s cuisine. The book can be of both scientific and practical value. It is a part of the mainstream of the history of everyday life. It has been a popular line of research in recent years, but extremely difficult to grasp. Almost no one wrote about the obvious things, such as daily preparation of meals, even at the princely court. Therefore, each Old Polish book is a unique cultural treasure enabling us to better understand our common heritage. And particularly worth popularising among the broadest range of readers.


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