There are three theories on the origin of lasagne, two of which denote an ancient Greek dish. The main theory is that lasagne comes from Greek λάγανον (laganon), a flat sheet of pasta dough cut into strips. The word λαγάνα (lagana) is still used in Greek to mean a flat thin type of unleavened bread.
Another theory is that the word lasagne comes from the Greek λάσανα (lasana) or λάσανον (lasanon) meaning "trivet or stand for a pot", "chamber pot". The Romans borrowed the word as "lasanum", meaning "cooking pot" in Latin. The Italians used the word to refer to the dish in which lasagne is made. Later the name of the food took on the name of the serving dish.
A third theory proposed that the dish is a development of the 14th century English recipe "Loseyn" as described in The Forme of Cury, a cook book in use during the reign of Richard II. This has similarities to modern lasagne in both its recipe, which features a layering of ingredients between pasta sheets, and its name. However, an important difference is the lack of tomatoes, which did not arrive in Europe until after Columbus reached America in 1492. The earliest discussion of the tomato in European literature appeared in an herbal written in 1544 by Pietro Andrea Mattioli while the earliest discovered cookbook with tomato recipes was published in Naples in 1692, though the author had apparently obtained these recipes from Spanish sources.
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Famous quotes containing the word origin:
“Each structure and institution here was so primitive that you could at once refer it to its source; but our buildings commonly suggest neither their origin nor their purpose.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Someone had literally run to earth
In an old cellar hole in a byroad
The origin of all the family there.
Thence they were sprung, so numerous a tribe
That now not all the houses left in town
Made shift to shelter them without the help
Of here and there a tent in grove and orchard.”
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“For, though the origin of most of our words is forgotten, each word was at first a stroke of genius, and obtained currency, because for the moment it symbolized the world to the first speaker and to the hearer. The etymologist finds the deadest word to have been once a brilliant picture.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)