Olimpia Zagnoli, PEARS AND APPLES ABOUND
Bonvesin’s page dedicated to the fruits with which Milan was rich is an exuberant page of flavours and colours.
«The verdant orchards… Are often full of excellent fruits of almost every kind, offering the human palate the pleasure of a good taste».Bonvesin, as is his custom, is precise and detailed. He says that «plums, white, reddish, yellow and damask» are produced in «almost endless abundance». Then he assures that «pears and summer apples also appear in overabundance». As for apples, he specifies that Milan is also rich in «winter apples», «quince apples» and «pomegranate apples, good especially for those who are ill» (a pomegranate plant was also present in the garden of Casa Testori).
The list goes on to mention «figs that are called fioroni»; «domestic hazelnuts, then cornelian cherries, more suitable for women». And then even almonds («although few in number», writes Bonvesin). The lines dedicated to walnuts are particularly beautiful.
«Walnuts in unbelievable abundance, which the townspeople, who like this, use to eat throughout the year at the end of every meal. They also grind them up and mix them with eggs and Cacio cheese and pepper, making a stuffing for meat in the winter season. They also make oil from walnuts, which is widely used here».