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The Feast

71 EpisodesProduced by The Feast Website

The Feast presents delectable stories from the dining tables of history. Our stories immerse you in the sights, sounds, & tastes of a meal from the past. Make bread with medieval monks; share a martini with Churchill. Find out what wars were won & which kingdoms were lost, all for the sake of a good… read more


Edible Monuments: Naples' Salami Castle of 1768

Cuccagna Arch of Bread, Cheese, and Suckling Pigs on the Feast of Saint John the Baptist, Naples 1630. Courtesy of the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles. Photo by Mike Portt

Forget Hansel & Gretel's candy cottage, Naples was building fortresses of food in the 18th century! This week, we're investigating the Neapolitan tradition of cuccagna- a festival celebrating a mythical land of food, where roast chicken rained from the skies and wine flowed in rivers. Learn how early modern Neapolitans built giant edible monuments to celebrate birthdays, weddings, and holidays, complete with fortresses of ham, bell towers made of cheese, and lakes of beer! Was it all in good gluttonous fun or did the festival have a deeper political purpose? We'll also speak with Dr. Alan Darr at the Detroit Institute of Arts, where you can see relics of these early modern feasts at the Edible Monuments Exhibition, on until April 16th. 

Written & Produced by Laura Carlson

Technical Direction by Mike Portt

Click here for show notes, episode soundtrack, pictures, & more sources on the cuccagna

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