Sunday, November 24, 2013

Chicken Pitcher

Traditionally, Italian chicken pitchers came about after the Medici family (a very wealthy and powerful family in Renaissance Florence) was saved due to a flock of chickens.

The brother of Lorenzo the Magnificent named Guiliano decided he wanted to hold a large celebration in the village of Gallina (which no longer exists).  The night of the festival (after everyone had drunk their fill of wine, beer and ate all the food they could possibly hold ... and were all soundly asleep) ... assassins hired by the Pazzis - a rival family to the Medici - tried to sneak into Gallina to kill Guiliano.   They might have succeeded except the assassins crossed a yard full of chickens whose cackling and noise awoke both Guiliano and his guards.  

Guiliano was so happy that his life was saved - he threw another party for the village and had artisans create ceramic chicken pitchers to use for wine and gave them as gifts to all the villagers as good luck gifts. 

It is now Italian tradition to give a chicken pitcher to friends and family to protect them from danger or trespassers.  

Found this little guy while up in Naples one weekend ... thought he was so charming I just had to get him.  Not traditional by any stretch of the imagination ... but, I love the tuxedo!



Welshcakes Limoncello said...

He's cute!

Anonymous said...

Too bad the chickens as the San Diego zoo didn't look like this, I bet they would still be there.