vii pezzi di carne insalata; vi staia di farina a burattata; 1 saccho entrovi staia xv di grano; 1 quarto di fave; 4 [botte] di vino vermiglio quasi meza; 1 quarto di susine secche; piu civaie; v orcia da olio ne quali sono 4 orcia dolio

Household inventories in the DALME collection are often exhaustively detailed, and at times contain unexpected items like the pets that appear only infrequently, or curious objects from far-flung locales. It is certain, however, that even with lists that are comprehensive in scope, many items owned by a householder remained undocumented. This is surely the case with much of the food that was purchased, prepared, and consumed by members of the household and that leaves little trace in the inventories.

It is perhaps the perishable nature of most food items that precluded their addition to the notary’s list. The foodstuffs that do appear in the inventories are rather those that were non-perishable or were specifically prepared for a long shelf life. Salted meat, flour, oil, vinegar, and wine are the most common consumables found in the inventories, and are often listed in large quantities. Seven pieces of salted meat are found in the kitchen of Ormanno del Nero’s house, along with six (large) portions of sifted flour (measured in staio). Approximately fifteen measures of grain--presumably not yet table-ready--were kept in the ground-floor storeroom, on the second floor one measure of dried beans was discovered, and in an adjoining antichamber, some dried plums and other shelf-stable goods, such as chickpeas or other dried legumes. Not surprisingly, four casks of red wine--only half full--were kept in the below-ground cellar. Flasks for oil, whether partially or completely filled, were also listed among the long-lasting staples needed to feed the household. Although no cash sums were assigned to these non-perishables, their inclusion in the inventories suggests their value was both portable and durable.