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Eating Herbs with Pythagoras' Sauce

Eating Herbs with Pythagoras' Sauce

Find out how Pythagoras liked to eat and the recipe for his favorite dish, a salad with a yogurt dressing.

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Pythagoras was a great mathematician and Greek philosopher (VI century. B.C.). Born in Samo, he travelled to Egypt and Babylonia until he arrived at Croton in Magna Greece where he founded a religious sect and a philosophical movement under his own name.

Phytagoras made mathematics a science and numbers the essence of things. His religious doctrine was inspired by Orphism and stated that transmigration and reincarnation from one body form to the other the soul is purified. Phytagora’s school accepted women and everyone was to observe celibacy, share the wealth and practice purifying techniques for the body and the soul.

The philosopher said: “dear friends (…) wheat fields, apples so big that break the branches, many vines, delicious herbs and vegetables to cook, milk and honey; the earth offers a lot of wealth for which there is no need to make war (…)”.

In Diogenes' biography, Phytagoras is depicted as someone who ate bread with honey in the morning and raw vegetables in the evening. He also paid fishermen to free their fish. According to Vincenzo Corrado, in his book Cuoco galante (XVIII century), the philosopher was a strict vegetarian.

In 1743, the Tuscan doctor Antonio Cocchi stood against meat eaters and commanded a vegetarian diet inspired by Phytagoras' diet: vegetables, fresh herbs, roots, fruits and grains.

Recipe for Pythagora’s salad

Ingredients:

Yogurt, vinegar, lettuce, garden cress, coriander, mustard, poppy seed, onions, garlic, salt, pepper.

Method:

Add to the yogurt vinegar, salt and pepper, garlic, mustard and onions. Mix it together and use it as a dressing for the herbs and the lettuce. In Ancient Greece it was common to believe that for a good salad, a stingy person would use vinegar, an extravagant one oil, a wise one salt, and a judicious one pepper.

This story is taken from the book Tacuinum dè Eccellentissimi, ali&no publisher.

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