[Paleopsych] UChiP: Eight ancient Roman recipes from Around the Roman Table

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Eight ancient Roman recipes from Around the Roman Table:
Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome
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        [1]Around the Roman Table: Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome

    "Patrick Faas's Around the Roman Table is a smorgasbord of gastronomic
    wonders and delights."--Independent on Sunday

    "There are many misconceptions about the food of ancient Rome that
    Faas sets out to correct. The result is half cookbook, half history
    book and is entirely fascinating to both chef and antiquarian
    alike."--Washington Times

Eight recipes from Around the Roman Table Food and Feasting in Ancient 
by Patrick Faas

    In addition to a wealth of material about culinary customs and
    techniques in ancient Rome, Patrick Faas translated more than 150
    Roman recipes and reconstructed them for the modern cook. Here are
    eight recipes from from the book--from salad to dessert.

f f f

Columella Salad

    Columella's writings suggest that Roman salads were a match for our
    own in richness and imagination:

    Addito in mortarium satureiam, mentam, rutam, coriandrum, apium,
    porrum sectivum, aut si non erit viridem cepam, folia latucae, folia
    erucae, thymum viride, vel nepetam, tum etiam viride puleium, et
    caseum recentem et salsum: ea omnia partier conterito, acetique
    piperati exiguum, permisceto. Hanc mixturam cum in catillo
    composurris, oleum superfundito.

    Put savory in the mortar with mint, rue, coriander, parsley, sliced
    leek, or, if it is not available, onion, lettuce and rocket leaves,
    green thyme, or catmint. Also pennyroyal and salted fresh cheese. This
    is all crushed together. Stir in a little peppered vinegar. Put this
    mixture on a plate and pour oil over it. (Columella, Re Rustica,

    A wonderful salad, unusual for the lack of salt (perhaps the cheese
    was salty enough), and that Columella crushes the ingredients in the

    100g fresh mint (and/or pennyroyal)
    50g fresh coriander
    50g fresh parsley
    1 small leek
    a sprig of fresh thyme
    200g salted fresh cheese
    olive oil

    Follow Columella's method for this salad using the ingredients listed.

    In other salad recipes Columella adds nuts, which might not be a bad
    idea with this one.

    Apart from lettuce and rocket many plants were eaten raw--watercress,
    mallow, sorrel, goosefoot, purslane, chicory, chervil, beet greens,
    celery, basil and many other herbs.

f f f

Soft-Boiled Eggs in Pine-Nut Sauce

    In ovis hapalis: piper, ligustcum, nucleos infusos. Suffundes mel,
    acetum; liquamine temperabis.

    For soft-boiled eggs: pepper, soaked pine nuts. Add honey and vinegar
    and mix with garum. (Apicius, 329)

    for 4 small eggs

    200g pine nuts
    2 teaspoons ground pepper
    1 teaspoon honey
    4 tablespoons garum or anchovy paste

    Soak the pine nuts overnight in water. Then drain and grind them
    finely in the blender or pound them in a large mortar. Add the pepper,
    honey and garum. Heat the sauce in a bain-marie. Meanwhile put the
    eggs into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Let them cook for
    3½ minutes, then take them off the heat, plunge them into cold water
    and peel them carefully. The outer edge of the egg white must be firm,
    but it must be soft inside. Put the eggs, left whole, into a deep
    serving bowl and pour over the sauce. Serve.

    This recipe can be adapted easily to other eggs, such as quail's eggs.
    In that case keep an eye on the cooking-time: a quail's egg will be
    firm in 1 minute.

f f f

Lentils with Coriander

    Aliter lenticulam: coquis. Cum despumaverit porrum et coriandrum
    viride supermittis. (Teres) coriandri semen, puleium, laseris radicem,
    semen mentae et rutae, suffundis acetum, adicies mel, liquamine,
    aceto, defrito temperabis, adicies oleum, agitabis, si quid opus
    fuerit, mittis. Amulo obligas, insuper oleum viride mittis, piper
    aspargis et inferes.

    Another lentil recipe. Boil them. When they have foamed, add leeks and
    green coriander. [Crush] coriander seed, pennyroyal, laser root, mint
    seed and rue seed. Moisten with vinegar, add honey, garum, vinegar,
    mix in a little defrutum, add oil and stir. Add extra as required.
    Bind with amulum, drizzle with green oil and sprinkle with pepper.
    Serve. (Apicius, 192)

    250g lentils
    2 litres water
    1 leek, trimmed, washed and finely chopped
    75g fresh coriander
    5g coriander seed
    3g peppercorns, plus extra for finishing the dish
    3g mint seed
    3g rue seed
    75g fresh pennyroyal, or mint
    10ml garum
    10ml vinegar
    5ml honey
    olive oil

    Wash the lentils and put them into a saucepan with 2 litres of cold
    water. Bring to the boil, and skim off the scum. When the water has
    cleared, add the leek and half of the fresh coriander. Grind the
    spices and the other herbs, and add them with the garum, vinegar and
    defrutum to the pan. Let the lentils simmer until they are almost
    cooked. Check the pan every now and then to ensure that the water has
    not evaporated. At the last minute add the olive oil, the freshly
    ground pepper and the remainder of the chopped coriander.

f f f

Roast Wild Boar

    Aper ita conditur: spogiatur, et sic aspergitur ei sal et cuminum
    frictum, et sic manet. Alia die mittitur in furnum. Cum coctus fuerit
    perfundutur piper tritum, condimentum aprunum, mel, liquamen, caroenum
    et passum.

    Boar is cooked like this: sponge it clean and sprinkle with salt and
    roast cumin. Leave to stand. The following day, roast it in the oven.
    When it is done, scatter with ground pepper and pour on the juice of
    the boar, honey, liquamen, caroenum, and passum. (Apicius, 330)

    For this you would need a very large oven, or a very small boar, but
    the recipe is equally successful with the boar jointed. Remove the
    bristles and skin, then scatter over it plenty of sea salt, crushed
    pepper and coarsely ground roasted cumin. Leave it in the refrigerator
    for 2-3 days, turning it occasionally.

    Wild boar can be dry, so wrap it in slices of bacon before you roast
    it. At the very least wrap it in pork caul. Then put it into the oven
    at its highest setting and allow it to brown for 10 minutes. Reduce
    the oven temperature to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4, and continue to roast for 2
    hours per kg, basting regularly.

    Meanwhile prepare the sauce. To make caroenum, reduce 500ml wine to
    200ml. Add 2 tablespoons of honey, 100ml passum, or dessert wine, and
    salt or garum to taste. Take the meat out of the oven and leave it to
    rest while you finish the sauce. Pour off the fat from the roasting
    tin, then deglaze it with the wine and the honey mixture. Pour this
    into a saucepan, add the roasting juices, and fat to taste.

    Carve the boar into thin slices at the table, and serve the sweet
    sauce separately.

f f f

Ostrich Ragoût

    Until the 1980s the ostrich was considered as exotic as an elephant,
    but since then it has become available in supermarkets. Cooking a
    whole ostrich is an enormous task, but Apicius provides a recipe for

    In struthione elixo: piper, mentam, cuminum assume, apii semen,
    dactylos vel caryotas, mel, acetum, passum, liquamen, et oleum modice
    et in caccabo facies ut bulliat. Amulo obligas, et sic partes
    struthionis in lance perfundis, ete desuper piper aspargis. Si autem
    in condituram coquere volueris, alicam addis.

    For boiled ostrich: pepper, mint, roast cumin, celery seed, dates or
    Jericho dates, honey, vinegar, passum, garum, a little oil. Put these
    in the pot and bring to the boil. Bind with amulum, pour over the
    pieces of ostrich in a serving dish and sprinkle with pepper. If you
    wish to cook the ostrich in the sauce, add alica. (Apicius, 212)

    You may prefer to roast or fry your ostrich, rather than boil it.
    Whichever method you choose, this sauce goes with it well. For 500g
    ostrich pieces, fried or boiled, you will need:

    2 teaspoon flour
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    300ml passum (dessert wine)
    1 tablespoon roast cumin seeds
    1 teaspoon celery seeds
    3 pitted candied dates
    3 tablespoons garum or a 50g tin of anchovies
    1 teaspoon peppercorns
    2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint
    1 teaspoon honey
    3 tablespoons strong vinegar

    Make a roux with the flour and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, add the
    passum, and continue to stir until the sauce is smooth. Pound together
    in the following order: the cumin, celery seeds, dates, garum or
    anchovies, peppercorns, chopped mint, the remaining olive oil, the
    honey, and vinegar. Add this to the thickened wine sauce. Then stir in
    the ostrich pieces and let them heat through in the sauce.

f f f

Roast Tuna

    Ius in cordula assa: piper, ligustcum, mentam, cepam, aceti modicum et

    Sauce for roast tuna: pepper, lovage, mint, onion, a little vinegar,
    and oil. (Apicius, 435)

    for the vinaigrette

    3 tablespoons strong vinegar
    2 tablespoons garum, or vinegar with anchovy paste
    9 tablespoons olive oil
    4 finely chopped shallots
    1 teaspoon pepper
    1 teaspoon lovage seeds
    25g fresh mint

    Put all of the vinaigrette ingredients into a jar and shake well to
    blend them together.

    Brush your tuna fillets with oil, pepper and salt, then grill them on
    one side over a hot barbecue. Turn them and brush the roasted side
    with the vinaigrette. Repeat. The tuna flesh should be pink inside so
    don't let it overcook. Serve with the remains of the vinaigrette.

f f f

Fried Veal Escalope with Raisins

    Vitella fricta: piper, ligusticum, apii semen, cuminum, origanum,
    cepam siccam, uvam passam, mel, acetum, vinum, liquamen, oleum,

    Fried veal: pepper, lovage, celery seed, cumin, oregano, dried onion,
    raisins, honey, vinegar, wine garum, oil, defrutum. (Apicius, 335)

    for the sauce

    ¼ teaspoon cumin
    ½ teaspoon celery seed
    1 teaspoon peppercorns
    ½ teaspoon dried oregano
    1 tablespoon lovage
    1 tablespoon dried onion
    1 teaspoon defrutum
    1 teaspoon honey
    2 tablespoons white raisins
    300ml dry white wine
    1 dash vinegar
    1 dash garum

    Pound the cumin and the celery seed in powder, then grind the
    peppercorns. Mix all the ingredients together and leave the raisins to
    macerate for at least a few hours and up to a day. Beat the veal
    fillets with a rolling-pin or meat-tenderizer, until they are
    flattened. For Roman authenticity, the escalopes should be cut into
    small pieces or strips after frying--they didn't use knives at table.
    Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then fry briefly on both sides in a hot
    pan with a little olive oil. Remove the veal from the pan. Put the
    sauce mixture, let it reduce, then pour it over veal and serve

f f f

Nut Tart

    Patina versatilis vice dulcis: nucleos pineos, nuces fractas et
    purgatas, attorrebis eas, teres cum melle, pipere, liquamine, lacte,
    ovis, modico mero et oleo, versas in discum.

    Try patina as dessert: roast pine nuts, peeled and chopped nuts. Add
    honey, pepper, garum, milk, eggs, a little undiluted wine, and oil.
    Pour on to a plate. (Apicius, 136)

    400g crushed nuts--almonds, walnuts or pistachios
    200g pine nuts
    100g honey
    100ml dessert wine
    4 eggs
    100ml full-fat sheep's milk
    1 teaspoon salt or garum

    Preheat the oven to 240°C/475°F/Gas 9.

    Place the chopped nuts and the whole pine nuts in an oven dish and
    roast until they have turned golden. Reduce the oven temperature to
    200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Mix the honey and the wine in a pan and bring to
    the boil, then cook until the wine has evaporated. Add the nuts and
    pine nuts to the honey and leave it to cool. Beat the eggs with the
    milk, salt or garum and pepper. Then stir the honey and nut mixture
    into the eggs. Oil an oven dish and pour in the nut mixture. Seal the
    tin with silver foil and place it in roasting tin filled about a third
    deep with water. Bake for about 25 minutes until the pudding is firm.
    Take it out and when it is cold put it into the fridge to chill. To
    serve, tip the tart on to a plate and pour over some boiled honey.

      Copyright notice: Excerpted from Around the Roman Table: Food and
      Feasting in Ancient Rome by Patrick Faas, published by [2]the
      University of Chicago Press. © Patrick Faas. All rights reserved.
      This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use
      provisions of U.S. copyright law, and it may be archived and
      redistributed in electronic form, provided that this entire notice,
      including copyright information, is carried and provided that the
      University of Chicago Press is notified and no fee is charged for
      access. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on
      other terms, in any medium, requires the consent of both the author
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      [3]Around the Roman Table: Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome
      Patrick Faas
      Translated by Shaun Whiteside
      2003, 384 pages, 28 halftones, 29 line drawings
      Paper $18.00 ISBN: 0-226-23347-2
      [For sale in Canada and the USA only.]

      For information on purchasing the book--from bookstores or here
      online--please go to the webpage for [4]Around the Roman Table.

See also:

      * [5]A Taste of Ancient Rome by Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa
      * [6]Art, Culture, and Cuisine: Ancient and Medieval Gastronomy by
        Phyllis Pray Bober
      * Read [7]six recipes from [8]The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from
        France and Italy by Odile Redon, Francoise Sabban, and Silvano
      * Our catalog of [9]Medieval and Renaissance titles
      * [10]Other excerpts and online essays from University of Chicago
        Press titles
      * Sign up for [11]e-mail notification of new books in this and other


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