HISTORICAL NOTES

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OFFA IS MENTIONED IN THE VI BOOK OF VIRGILIO’S AENEID.

eneide2

Cerberus, hell’s gate keeper, enormous in size, with three serpent necks, growling and hissing in rage, blocked the passage Aeneas needed to pass over to escape the flood. Aeneas throws the beast a cake seasoned with honey and poppy seed to ease it’s mad rage of hunger .The beast devours the offered morsels, soon to relax its rage in complete content slumber, allowing Aeneas to swiftly pass over the flood waters to the bank, whence there is no return.
The underworld guardian was lulled to sleep, after being tricked into eating drugged honeycakes, the offa.
Offelle are also mentioned in the Baldus of Theophilus Folengo, a work published under Bengodi pseudonym. It is a mock-heroic poem, written by mixing classical Latin and dialect terms that, in his first part, evokes a kind of fabulous Bengodi (cockaigne) where all Italian folk food specialties of late fifteenth century are reviewed. They are considered, along with sausages, is considered typical specialty of Milan.

(…) et offas
Millanus croceas et quae salcizza bibones (…)
Liber primis, vv. 470-71