The Last Supper Menu: Revealed!



Riddles in Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper were the basis for the plot of the best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code, but why hasn't anyone cracked the code of what food was served at the legendary dinner party?

New research by John Varriano suggests that the meal being consumed was neither bread nor pascal lamb, as once thought. Instead, he writes in a new article in Gastronomica that the 1997 cleaning and restoration of the fresco revealed plates of grilled eel garnished with orange slices. Above is a detail of the section of the painting in question (with my best effort to identify and highlight the dish). I have to admit the evidence is a little murky to my untrained eye, but I'll take Varriano's word for it. He zooms in for a much closer look in the article.

Pairing fish with oranges was trendy at the time The Last Supper was painted, according to Varriano, who notes that a recipe for grilled eel appears in Platina's On Right Pleasure and Good Health, an influential Renaissance cookbook. He also loosely ties the choice of the dish to Leonardo's own grocery lists, preserved from 1400s, which indicate he shopped for "peppered bread, eels, and apricots" at least a dozen times.

At Supper with Leonardo (PDF) [Gastronomica]




It would be nice if the ad on the right side of the article didn't cover the last words of the story. Poor planning??????


Which ad? I don't see anything weird going on in Firefox. Let me know and I will try to fix it. Thanks!


This website is unreadable in IE 800x600.


aren't eels traif?


Davinci painted Italians eating Italian foods! Who would have expected such a thing!


to many ads on this site... imagine the reading space you could have...


As Jesus was perfect he would not have broken one of the food laws and eaten eel...They have it wrong!!!


This makes me think of a Frank O'Hara poem: Why I Am Not a Painter

I am not a painter, I am a poet.
Why? I think I would rather be
a painter, but I am not. Well,
for instance, Mike Goldberg
is starting a painting. I drop in.
"Sit down and have a drink" he
says. I drink; we drink. I look
up. "You have SARDINES in it."
"Yes, it needed something there."
"Oh." I go and the days go by
and I drop in again. The painting
is going on, and I go, and the days
go by. I drop in. The painting is
finished. "Where's SARDINES?"
All that's left is just
letters, "It was too much," Mike says.
But me? One day I am thinking of
a color: orange. I write a line
about orange. Pretty soon it is a
whole page of words, not lines.
Then another page. There should be
so much more, not of orange, of
words, of how terrible orange is
and life. Days go by. It is even in
prose, I am a real poet. My poem
is finished and I haven't mentioned
orange yet. It's twelve poems, I call
it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery
I see Mike's painting, called SARDINES.


Obviously Jesus was Spanish; hence the name...eels would have been a perfect gift to the Italians. Thank you Maria and Jesu and Gioseppe!


Who wants to me a millionaire had a question today about what was served at the last supper and the answer was eel. A fifty thousand dollar answer. I think bread and wine was about it. Was the painter of the last supper even at the meal? No, but if there was meat I guess it would have been lamb.


This is awesome. I think this was done just perfectly. :) I am happy to report that we would have the same thing for our last supper menu.. haha.


It would be nice if the image is clearer.


Very interesting observation! Thank you!


this pic is good but the story is rubbish


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A dentist for patients pulled a dozen anesthetic was neat teeth sit well, said: sit down, relax, don't be afraid, point to pain of...... At once......
Open your mouth of the patients said: "little come this, lie to me, I am also the dentist!"


in the bible it clearly says not to eat anything that doesnt chew the cud ,doesnt have splt hoof is unclean. Leviticus 11
Of all living in the water of the seas and streams. you may eat any that have fins and scales..........if they dont they are unclean. so Jesus would not have eaten eel.


I love reading such articles about history of creating the world Che's devours! Such stories inspire me to create my own art and to believe in myself!


Marlene Dietrich Special Edition Milky Rollerball I visited all the cells, beginning with those on the first floor, and ending with those on the lower. The order that the door of number V. should not be opened had been respected; through all the eight years food and drink for three men had been passed through a hole in the wall. I went to the door yesterday, curious to see the wretches who, against


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