Bartolomeo Platina was a writer, a heretic imprisoned by two popes, the head of the Vatican Library, and apparently a pothead chef. How’s that for a résumé?
Platina lived in Italy during the Renaissance and wrote the world’s first cookbook, which was published on this new invention called the printing press in 1474. In his cookbook, De honesta voluptate et valetudine (“On honourable pleasure and health”), is a recipe for “a health drink of cannabis nectar.” The book stands as not only the oldest published grouping of recipes on record, but a vital look into the diets of people at that time. This was so long ago there were no tomatoes in Italy because Columbus hadn’t brought them back from the New World yet, but people were definitely consuming cannabis.
What Platina suggested was mixing cannabis, probably buds, in a pot with Nard oil (full disclosure: I giggled at that one) and then drinking the resultant mixture. Nard oil comes from a plant called the Spikenard, which was used to perfume people’s bodies, among other uses. Achilles is supposed to have used it on Petrokolus’ body during the Trojan War, and I’d be surprised if ThisBuds4You doesn’t have some in his cabinet.
Anyway, Platina said to “Carefully treat food and divide for the stomach and the head,” which suggests he considered cannabis to be “brain food.” The original recipe is written in Latin, but here’s a translation:
To make cannabis yourself known as flax for thread
Use a mallet to crush clods collect after good harvest
Taken as food in wine or cake
Add cannabis to nard oil in an iron pot
Crush together over some heat until juice
A health drink of cannabis nectar
Carefully treat food and divide for the stomach and the head
finally remember everything in excess may be harmful or criminal.