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Greco-Romn-Fst-art – 12/7/03


An SCA Greco-Roman feast by Urtatim. Menu and recipes.


NOTE: See also the files: cb-rv-Apicius-msg, Roman-Recipes-art, Roman-Wales-bib, Roman-hygiene-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2003 15:14:03 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Greco-Roman Feast, Intro

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


Since Jadwiga is longing for on-topic conversation, i'll post the

recipes I used for the Greco-Roman feast I served in early September.


I was originally expecting to serve around 72. It was already clear

to me that I would more likely be serving 80. Then before the feast

the Autocrat called and said it was sold out, and more people wanted

to attend, could I feed 100. Of course, I said, "Yes." All I did was

buy more chicken and more salad. It just meant that folks would have

to take smaller servings. Since there were about 26 dishes, I knew

i'd have enough food.


I used a wide range of sources. I included this bibliography in the

feast menu booklet


Apicius, The Roman Cookery Book. Translated by Barbara Flower &

Elizabeth Rosenbaum. Peter Nevill, Ltd, London & New York: 1958.


Andrew Dalby. Siren Feasts, A History of Food and Gastronomy in

Greece. Routledge, London & New York: 1996.


Andrew Dalby. Empire of Pleasures, Luxury and Indulgence in the Roman

World. Routledge, London & New York: 2000.


Andrew Dalby. Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices. University of

California Press, Berkeley & Los Angeles: 2000.


Andrew Dalby and Sally Grainger. The Classical Cookbook. British

Museum Press, London: revised edition 2000.


Patrick Faas. Around the Roman Table: Food and Feasting in Ancient

Rome. Translated by Shaun Whiteside. Palgrave Macmillan, New York and

Hampshire UK: 1994, 2003.


Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa. A Taste of Ancient Rome. Translated by Anna

Herklotz. University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London: 1992.


I bought a copy of Mark Grant's "Roman Cookery" in early October at

the Known World Costume Symposium from Devra who brought Poison Pen

Press - heck, she was one of the reasons I went to Denver!


I had several issues to deal with in planning and executing the feast.


While a traditional Greek or Roman feast would have three courses,

the Autocrat wanted six. It was a bardic competition and there was a

round of competition between each course. I just doubled each course.


Prince Dimitriy keeps kinda Kosher, so

(a) I made Lucanicae of lamb, served in a course with ham

(b) for any dish that contained dairy, we made a dish without for

him, except for things like cheese and cheesecake


Princess Jimena is deathly allergic to all tree nuts except pine nuts,


(a) I eliminated from the menu several dishes I had wanted to make

that contained almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts

(b) I made a nut-and-mustard sauce, making it with the pine nuts -

setting aside a dish for the princess - then adding the ground

almonds so there would be no cross-contamination


Princess Jimena is also deathly allergic to raw honey, so I made sure

to only use honey that had been heated - I personally use raw honey

and have bought it for feasts, but this time I just got "Sue Bee"

There was a moment in the kitchen when I had used up all 10 lb of

honey and needed more and one of the cooks who lived nearby brought

in a 5 lb bottle of raw, so I had to nix it


I used less fish sauce than my taste prefers, because folks seemed



Because we have close to 10 per cent of diners vegetarian - and in

this case included 2 or 3 diners allergic to fish - I substituted soy

sauce in dishes for them.


To acheive this easily, we made all the food without fish sauce, then

when finishing the dishes, I set aside 10 per cent (one serving

platter) to which we added soy sauce, and put fish sauce in the rest.

Because I know that vegetarians are friends with meat eaters, I had

one server dedicated to serving them - she wandered the hall bringing

servings to them, whereas the other servers each served whole tables.


Because I wanted a display/sotiltie type dish, and I never got around

to making a fake pig out of which to pull the hams, we made very

non-Greco-Roman faux peach pits, served in sugar paste Roman chariots.


Additionally, September is generally the hottest month here, so we

made two fruit ices and served them as "palate cleansers" between

some rather "savory" courses.


I made feast booklets for every diner. There was a title page (Ab Ovo

Ad Malum), then one page for each course, and the back page was the

bibliography. I did not include recipes, but each dish - named in

Latin or Greek and in English (or in Italian for the ices) - included

a complete list of ingredients as well as its historic source(s).


Because there were some empty spaces in the booklet following shorter

courses, I included stories about spices from Herodotus and other

Greek and Roman writers, since I had taught a course on early spice

routes back in late July or early August.


Here is the menu:


----- Promulsis - Hors d'Oeuvre -----

- Panis : Fresh Bread

- Caseum : Fresh Aged Cheese

- Epityrum  :  Chopped Seasoned Olive Relish [Cato the Censor, de

Agricultura, 119]

- Ius cum Ovis Hapalis : Boiled Eggs in Pine Nut Sauce [Apicius, Book

VII, Chapter XIX, Recipe 3]



----- Gustatio - Appetizers -----

- Fresh Bread

- Moretum : Garlic, Herb, and Cheese Spread [The Ploughman's Lunch,

anonymous Latin poet]

- Aliter Carduos : Herb Marinated Artichokes [Apicius, Book III,

Chapter XIX, Recipe 2]

- Ius in Cordulla Assa : Grilled Tuna with Date Sauce [Apicius, Book

IX, Chapter X, Recipe 5]



----- Intermezzo -----

- Granita di Limone - Lemon Ice



----- Primera Mensa, Cena Prima - First Course, First Table -----

- Ius cum Pullo:  Chicken with Plum Sauce [Apicius, Book VI, Chanpter

V, Recipe 1]

- Acetaria: Mixed Greens Salad

- Hypotrimma: Cheese Sauce [Apicius, Book I, Chapter XIX]

- Boletos: Another Mushroom Dish [Apicius, Book VII, Chapter XIII,

Recipe 6]

- Erebinthoi Knakosymmigeis: Saffron Chickpeas [Piloxenus, The

Dinner, quoted in Anthenaeus (circa AD170-239), The Partying




----- Intermezzo

- Granita di Melograno - Pomegranate Ice



----- Primera Mensa, Cena Secunda - First Course, Second Table -----

- Pernam : Ham with Figs in Pastry [Apicius, Book VII, Chapter IX,

Recipe 1]

- Lucanicae : Smokey Sausages of Lamb [Apicius, Book II, Chapter IV]

- Sinapim : Mustard Sauce with Nuts [Columella 12, 57]

- Cuminatum in Patina de Persicis : Peaches in Cumin Sauce [Patina:

Apicius, Book IV, Chapter II, Recipe 34;

- Cabbage in the Style of Athens [Mnesitheus (4th c. BCE), quoted by

Oribasius, in Medical Collections, Book IV, Chapter 4, part 1 (4th c.

CE); another version in Cato (c. 234-149 BCE) and quoted by Pliny the

Elder (24-79 CE)]

- Pulentium : Barley Polenta [Pliny, Naturalis Historia, 18, 73]



----- Seconda Mensa, Cena Prima - Second Course, First Table -----

- Conditum Paradoxi Compositio : Spiced White Grape Juice Surprise

[Apicius, Book I, Chapter I, Recipe 1]

- Patina Versatilis : Pine Nut Patina - [Apicius, Book IV, Chapter

II, Recipe 2]

- Mustei : Sweet Must Cakes [Cato the Censor, de Agricultura, 121]



----- Seconda Mensa, Cena Seconda - Second Course, Second Table -----

- Savillum : Roman cheese cake [Cato the Censor, de Agricultura, 84]

- Almond Paste Peach Pits in Sugar Plate Chariots

- Fresh Fruit



Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2003 08:57:26 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Greco-Roman Feast, Courses 1 & 2

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


Normally a Greek or Roman feast had one appetizer course. Because i

was serving 6 courses, i made two appetizer courses. I tried to

balance savory and milder dishes.


One of my cooks had some lovage in her garden, but it wasn't a good

year for it, so there wasn't enough for the feast. At least i got to

taste it. Then, in the ever-glorious Berkeley Bowl i found something

called "Chinese celery". I figure this is similar to Medieval celery

- tiny thin short fibrous stalks with lots of big leaves. I used it

instead of lovage herb. The lovage herb seemed to have a menthol

finish which this lacked, but it was close enough in taste.


Oh, yeah, I divided my recipes among a group of experienced cooks. We

made most of the food off site. I bought the ingredients and took

them to the cooks. Then brought the prepared food and other

ingredients to the site and finished those dishes that needed

finishing, and cooked things on site like the tuna and the chicken (i

hate the taste of reheated chicken).


NOTE: All recipes serve 80 to 100


PROMULSIS - Hors d'Oeuvre - First Course




Epityrum : Chopped Olive Relish

Ius cum Ovis Hapalis : Eggs with Pine Nut Sauce


BREAD: A Laurel who got his peerage for baking, made the bread for

the first and second courses.


CHEESE: A woman who specializes in cheese was making the cheese for

us - and apparently did quite a bit of research about Roman cheeses -

but something didn't work out, so she donated a fabulous Gorgonzola

instead - she works in a specialty food shop.





How to make green, black or mixed olive relish:

Remove stones from green, black or mixed olives, then prepare as

follows: chop them and add oil, vinegar, coriander, cumin, fennel,

rue, mint. Pot them: the oil should cover them. Ready to use.

[ ----- Cato the Censor, On Agriculture 119]


4 lb pitted Green Olives

1 cups Red Wine Vinegar

2 cups Olive Oil

1/2 cup chopped fresh Fennel Leaves

1/3 cup chopped fresh Cilantro

1/3 cup chopped fresh Parsley

1/3 cup chopped fresh Mint

3 Tb. Coriander Seeds, ground


1. Chop olives coarsely.

2. Chop herbs.

3. Grind coriander seeds.

4. Mix herbs and seeds with vinegar.

5. Mix with olives.

6. Pour in olive oil, mix.

7. Cover and let marinate several days in the refrigerator.


NOTE: I wanted to use a mix of black and green olives, but decent

black olives were too expensive - and no way was i using those

tasteless little rubber gaskets that come in cans at the supermarket.


NOTE: This turned out a bit too wet, according to the cook who made

it, so i'd suggest making sure the olives are well drained, and using

only 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 cup oil.



Ius cum Ovis Hapalis : EGGS WITH PINE NUT SAUCE



For soft-boiled eggs: pepper, lovage, steeped pine kernels. Moisten

with honey, vinegar, blend with fish sauce.

[ ----- Apicius, Book VII, Chapter XIX, Recipe 3]


Pine Nut Sauce


3 lb. Pine Nuts

1 liter Sweet White Wine

1/4 cup chopped fresh Lovage Herb or Chinese Celery Leaves

1/2 cup Honey

1/2 cup white Wine Vinegar

2 tsp. ground Black Pepper

1 Tb Soy Sauce

1/4 cup Tiparos (brand) Thai Fish Sauce


1. Soak pine nuts in white wine to cover over night.

2. Drain and process to a smooth paste.

3. Add lovage, honey, vinegar and pepper.

4. Process until smooth.

5. Set aside a dish for the vegetarians, and add 1 Tb. soy sauce.

6. Add fish sauce to remaining sauce.


NOTE: This was a tad sweet for my taste. In the recipe above i've

reduced the amount of honey, but i'd suggest gradually adding the

honey, vinegar, and fish sauce to taste - you might want more or less

of any of these ingredients to suit your taste. I took home some

leftovers and added a lot more fish sauce, which it needed, in my

opinion (but, then, i'm familiar with fish sauce from eating and

cooking Thai and Vietnamese cuisine).




80 Eggs (6-2/3 dozen)


1. Put eggs in a deep pot and cover with cold water.

2. Bring water to a boil.

3. As soon as water boils, remove pan from heat.

4. Cover pot and let stand 12 minutes.

5. Drain out all hot water and refill with cold water.

6. Pour out new water as it will now be hot.

7. Refill with cold water. Repeat this a couple times.

I put the pot in my freezer so it will cool quickly - but DO NOT let it freeze!

8. When eggs are cold, drain out water and refrigerate eggs until feast.


At the Feast:

1. Peel eggs.

2. Rinse eggs, drain and dry.

3. Slice eggs in half lengthwise.

4. Place on serving dishes and top with sauce.


NOTE: The sauce specified soft cooked eggs, but it seemed to me that

would be far too difficult for an SCA feast. So instead i hard cooked

them. I find that in cooking them as i do - not boiling them - they

are not rubbery and often the yolks do not turn green.





Gustatio - Appetizers - Second Course



Moretum - Garlic, Herb, and Cheese Spread

Artichokes in Herb Sauce

Fresh Tuna with Date Sauce


NOTE: All recipes serve 80 to 100




Derived from Moretum: The Ploughman's Lunch

author unknown, attributed to Virgil


120 cloves (approx. 10 heads) Garlic

1 Tb. Salt

5 large handfuls Cilantro

1/4 cup chopped fresh Lovage Herb or Chinese Celery Leaf

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat leaf) Parsley

1/4 cup plus 1 Tb White Wine Vinegar

1/4 cup plus 1 Tb. Olive Oil

2-1/2 lb. Pecorino Romano cheese


1. Separate and peel the garlic cloves - I bought already peeled

garlic cloves for the feast.

2. Optional: The cook who made this recipes decided to parboil the

garlic. The original doesn't, but this makes the garlic less harsh.

If you prefer strong garlic, don't parboil it, or only parboil part

of the garlic. I thought it was perhaps a bit too mild, but i suspect

diners appreciated it.

3. Grind garlic with salt in blender or food processor.

4. When pureed, add greens and olive oil and grind.

5. When pureed, add remaining ingredients.

6. Taste and add more salt only if needed.

7. Form into 10 balls and chill overnight.


Extract from Moretum: The Ploughman's Lunch, author unknown,

attributed to Virgil

translated by Andrew Dalby, in The Classical Cookbook, Andrew Dalby

and Sally Grainger



lightly digging into the ground with his fingers,

he pulls up four heads of garlic

with their thick leaves;

then he picks slim celery-tops

and sturdy rue and the thin stems

of trembling coriander

With these collected

he sits before the fire

and sends the slave girl for a mortar.


He splashes a grass grown bulb with water

and put it to the hollow mortar.

He seasons with grains of salt, and

after salt, hard cheese is added.

Then he mixes in the herbs.


With the pestle, his right hand

works at the fiery garlic

then he crushes all alike

in a mixture. His hand circles.

Gradually the ingredients lose

their individuality; out of the many colours emerges one -

neither wholly green

(for the white tempers it)

nor shining white

(since tinted by so many herbs).

... The work goes on;

not jerkily as before,

but more heavily the pestle make its slow circuits.

So he sprinkles some drops of Athena's olive oil

and adds a little sharp vinegar,

and again works his mixture together.

Then at  length, he runs two finger

round the mortar,

gathering the whole mixture into a ball,

so as to produce the form

and name of a finished moretum.

Meanwhile busy Scybale has baked a loaf.

This he takes after wiping his hands..."






Another cardoon recipe: rue, mint, coriander, fennel, all very green.

Add pepper, lovage, honey, fish sauce, and oil.

[ ----- Apicius - Book III, Chapter XIX, Recipe 2]


Romans would use cardoons, but they aren't readily available these

days, so i used their more easily found relative, artichokes.


Artichoke Hearts


two 5-1/2 lb cans of halved or quartered Artichoke Hearts (in water,

salt, & citric acid)


1. Drain artichokes of can liquid.

2. Rinse with fresh running water.

3. Drain well. While draining, make sauce.


NOTE: I disliked the taste of the pre-made artichokes - i think what

i objected to was the citric acid. It isn't really a *bad* taste, but

the flavor seemed out-of-place to me. This would have been much

better with tiny baby fresh artichokes. But they were too expensive

and the prep time involved in snipping off the thorns at the tops of

the leaves and cooking them was too great for a large feast.




3 Tb. and 1 tsp. Honey

3/4 cup Tiparos (brand) Thai Fish Sauce

5 cups Olive Oil

3 Tb. and 1 tsp. chopped fresh Lovage or Chinese celery

3 Tb. and 1 tsp. chopped fresh Cilantro

3 Tb. and 1 tsp. chopped fresh Fennel Leaves

3 Tb. and 1 tsp. chopped fresh Mint

2-1/2 tsp. Black Pepper

2-1/2 tsp. Lovage or Celery Seed


1. Mix together honey and fish sauce until well-blended, then stir in

olive oil.

2. Chop fresh green herbs.

3. Grind spices.

4. Mix liquids and seasonings.

5. Pour over well-drained artichokes, and mix gently to coat well.

6. Cover and marinate over night.






Ius in Cordula Assa: piper, ligusticum, apii semen, mentam, rutam,

caryotam, mel, acetum, vinum et oleum. convenit et in Sarda.


Sauce for Roasted Young Tuna: pepper, lovage, celery seeds, mint,

rue, Jericho dates, honey, vinegar, wine and oil. Suitable also for


[ ----- Apicius, Book IX, Chapter X, Recipe 5]


Date Sauce


7 Tb. Lovage Herb or Chinese Celery Leaves

7 Tb. chopped fresh Mint

3 Tb. chopped fresh Rue (Opt.)

80 pitted Dates

5 tsp. Celery Seeds

1 Tb. Ground Black Pepper

Salt, to taste

2 cups Olive Oil

1-1/4 c. Vinegar

1-1/4 c. Wine

1 c. Honey


1. Chop herbs in food processor.

2. Add dates, spices, and salt to herbs in processor, then add

liquids and honey into processor container.

3. Puree dates and liquid.

4. Taste and adjust seasonings.

5. Warm sauce.


Serve with cooked tuna as dipping sauce.


NOTE: The sauce is light golden tan in color, although because of the

dates many people expected it to be dark brown.




10 lb fresh Albacore or other inexpensive tuna or bonito


1. We cut the tuna into serving pieces - that took some time.

2. Then we baked it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about

15 minutes, then checked on them.

3. The slabs were thick and moist so they took a bit longer to cook

than i had expected - they needed another 10 minutes or a little less.


NOTE: I called around and finally found fresh locally caught albacore

for around $7 per lb. at a Japanese fish market. I bought about 2 oz.

per person. This was a "treat" in the meal, since most of the meat in

the feast was inexpensive (chicken $.99/lb and lamb $1.99/lb).


NOTE: It is important not to overcook the fish. It should still be

moist inside. The fish will continue cooking a bit after it is

removed from the oven. Of course, no one wants under cooked fish, but

overcooked fish is dry and fibrous and tough and no fun to eat at

all. In this case, most of it was eaten.



Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2003 10:24:22 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Greco-Roman Feast, Course 3

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


This was the first of two "main" courses






Primera Mensa, Cena Prima

First Course, First Table


Acetaria: Mixed Greens Salad and Hypotrimma: Cheese Sauce

Pullus cum Iure: Chicken with Plum/Prune Sauce

Boletos: Another Mushroom Dish

Erebinthoi Knakosymmigeis: Saffron Chickpeas


NOTE: All recipes serve 80 to 100




Patrick Faas (Around the Roman Table: Food and Feasting in Ancient

Rome, p. 229) suggests, besides lettuce: basil, beet greens, celery,

chervil, chicory, cilantro, goosefoot, leek, lettuce, mallow, mint,

parsley, purslane, rocket (radicchio), rue, sorrel, thyme,

watercress, etc.


We bought a few large packages of mixed greens (also known mesclun)

that included several types of lettuce and radicchio at a

"warehouse"-type supermarket. We tore the greens by hand. Then we

added fresh basil, cilantro, mint, thyme, and watercress, also torn

by hand, to the salad greens.


HYPOTRIMMA - Cheese Sauce


Hypotrimma. Pepper, lovage, dry mint, pine nuts, raisins, Jericho

date, sweet cheese, honey, vinegar, fish sauce, oil, wine, defrutum

or caroenum

[--- Apicius, Book I, Chapter XIX]


1 quart Olive Oil

2 cups Wine Vinegar (red or white)

1 cup Red Wine

1 cup defrutum or caroenum - we used White Grape Juice Concentrate

(not reconstituted)

1 cup Honey

fresh Lovage or Chinese Celery

fresh Mint

ground Black Pepper

1/4 cup Tiparos (brand) Thai Fish Sauce

5 cups Ricotta Cheese

2 cups Raisins

1 cup Pine Nuts


Put oil, vinegar, wine, juice concentrate, honey, lovage, mint, and

pepper in blender and mix.

Set aside a dish without cheese for the Prince, and stir 1 tsp. fish

sauce into it.

Add ricotta to remainder and blend.

Pour out of blender, stir in raisins.

Set aside a dish for the vegetarians, and stir 1 tsp. soy sauce into it.

Add fish sauce to remaining dressing.

Serve with a spoon in each dish along with green salad.


NOTE: This could have used much less liquid, in my opinion. I'd

suggest halving the first five ingredients, mixing and tasting, then

adding back as you think it needs them.


NOTE: I forgot to add the raisins. I intentionally left the pine nuts

out, as they were in several other dishes throughout the feast.


NOTE: Vaious people who have "redacted" this recipe - scholars and

SCAdians - have come up with VERY different interpretations, ranging

from cheese spread to sauce to salad dressing.





Sauce for Various Birds. Pepper, grilled cumin, lovage, mint, stoned

raisins or damsons, a little honey; blend with mytrle wine, vinegar,

fish sauce, and oil. Heat up and stir with celery and savory.

[--- Apicius, Book VI, Chapter V, Recipe 1]


Plums didn't grow in Italy at the time. Rather, dried plums were

imported from Syria, where they grew. I mixed fresh and dried in hope

that the sauce would be less cloying... see note below.


Plum/Prune Sauce


60 pitted Prunes

warm Water to cover

40 fresh Plums

1 gallon Red Wine

1-1/4 cups Red Wine Vinegar

1-1/4 cups Tiparos (brand) Thai Fish Sauce

1-1/4 cups Olive Oil

1/4 cup & 3 Tb. Honey

2 Tb. fresh Mint

2 Tb. Lovage Herb or Chinese Celery Leaves

1 Tb. ground roasted Cumin Seeds

1-1/2 tsp. ground Black Pepper

5-10 leafy stalks Celery

1 container fresh Savory Herb


Soak prunes in lukewarm water.

Plunge fresh plums in boiling water.

-- Drain and remove and discard skins.

-- Cut in half and discard pits.

Drain and chop prunes, saving liquid.

Tie celery and savory into bouquets.

Put all ingredients in saucepan, bring to boil and simmer 20 min.,

stirring with bouquet, and mashing prunes and plums occasionally.

Taste and adjust seasonings.

When done, leave bouquet in sauce until ready to serve.


NOTE: In fact the sauce was not sweet enough and needed more honey.




36 lb. Chicken Thighs and Legs


Put pieces in a single layer in enough roasting pans.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

Roast at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, turning so they brown evenly until

cooked through, between 30 and 45 minutes.


To serve, plate cooked chicken and pour sauce over.





Another Mushroom Dish: Put chopped mushroom stalks (from a variety of

wild mushrooms) in a baking dish, add pepper, lovage, and a bit of

honey. Blend with fish sauce, and a bit of oil.

[--- Apicius, Book VII, Chapter XIII, Recipe 6]


10 lb. thawed Trader Joe's frozen Mushroom Medley

3 Tb Lovage Seeds

2 Tb ground Black Pepper

1-1/4 cups Honey

1-1/2 cups Olive Oil

1/2 cup Tiparos (brand) Thai Fish Sauce

1 tsp. Salt


In a saucepan mix honey, oil, pepper, and lovage.

Cook on medium-low heat until honey is liquefied and ingredients well


Put mushrooms in a baking dish.

Pour sauce over mushrooms.

Bake until cooked.

Remove vegetarian serving and add salt to taste.

Stir fish sauce into remaining mushrooms, taste and add more is needed.



NOTE: As far as i know, the Romans didn't farm mushrooms and would

have used a mixture of wild mushrooms.


I like the "Mushroom Medley" because it contains a mixture of

mushrooms with varying flavors, colors, and textures. It includes

champignon (i.e. button), shiitake, oyster and kikurage mushrooms,

not all necessarily mushrooms the Romans would have had. Since Trader

Joe's brand is only available at Trader Joe's Markets, you can use a

mix of whatever fresh mushrooms are available and affordable,

especially if you live where this product is not available.



CHICKPEAS IN SAFFRON SAUCE - Erebinthoi Knakosymmigeis


"And then chick-peas marinated in saffron, plump in their tender youth"

[Piloxenus, The Dinner, quoted in Anthenaeus (circa 170-239 CE), The

Partying Professors]


NOTE: It's possible that the Greeks used FRESH chickpeas, but i don't

think i'll find them, so...


A couple generous pinches of Saffron

a few Tb. Warm Water

3 giant cans Chickpeas

2 cups Olive Oil

Salt to taste, as garbanzos already salted

2 Tb. ground Cumin Seed

2 Tb. ground Coriander Seed

2 tsp. ground Black Pepper


Crumble saffron threads in a tablespoon or two of warm water. Let

stand about 15 minutes.

Drain and rinse canned chickpeas.

Put chickpeas in a pot with olive oil and a little water, stir well,

and heat on medium fire, adjusting heat as needed so they don't burn.

Add saffron, coriander, cumin, and salt to taste.

Stir and simmer until warm through. Taste and adjust seasonings,

adding more cumin and coriander seed, as needed.


NOTE: These were surprisingly popular, considering what i have heard

about how people dislike chickpeas. We had quite a bit left over, but

nowhere near as much as i expected, and several people asked for the



NOTE: There was some controversy among scholars as to whether the

Greeks would have used saffron, which is flavorful as well as

colorful, or safflower, which adds color but no appreciable flavor. I

chose to use the tastier saffron, a flavor i love.



Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2003 10:42:14 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Greco-Roman Feast, Course 4

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


This was the second of the two "main" courses






NOTE: All recipes serve 80 to 100


Primera Mensa, Cena Secunda - First Course, Second Table


Ham with Figs in Pastry

Lucanicae - Smoked Lamb Sausages

Sinapim - Mustard Sauce with Ground Nuts

Peaches in Cumin Sauce

Cabbage in the Style of Athens

Pulentium - Barley Polenta



Ham with Figs in Pastry


Original Recipe:

After you have cooked the ham in water, with many dried figs and 3

bay leaves, remove the skin, make reticulated incisions, and fill

them with honey. Then work together flour and oil and replace the

skin. When the pastry is cooked, remove from the oven as it is, and


[ ----- Apicius, Book VII, Chapter IX, Recipe 1]



25 lb. Ham, cut into 10 serving chunks

Water, as needed

3 lb. dried Figs (i used black Mission figs)

30 Bay Leaves

1 cup Honey


1. Simmer ham with water, figs, and bay leaves, until figs are very


2. Slice ham and stuff with figgy bits.

3. Coat with honey.

4. Refrigerate.



30 cups White Wheat Flour (3 cups per serving piece)

1/2 cup Salt (2-1/2 Tb. per serving piece)

Oil, as needed to moisten flour

Water, as needed to moisten flour


1. Make pastry, by mixing flour and salt and cutting in oil.

2. Divide into 10 balls, and roll each one out into large oval.

3. Stack with pieces of waxed paper between them.

4. Refrigerate


At the Feast:


1. Wrap hams in pastry.

2. Bake at 350 degrees F. until crust is golden, about 1/2 hour.

3. Slice and put on serving dishes.



I boiled the hams with the figs and seasonings, but we did not cut

the ham into table pieces, nor did we wrap them in pastry. Instead,

at the feast site, we sliced it with an electric meat slicer, plated

it, and topped it with the pureed figs.



Lucanicae - Smoked sausages


Original Recipe:

Lucanicae made similarly to the above: crush pepper, cumin, savory,

rue, parsley, mixed herbs, bay berries, fish sauce, and mix with

well-beaten meat, pounding it well with the ground spice mixture. Mix

with fish sauce, whole peppercorns, plenty of fat,and pine nuts,

stuff into an intestine pulled very thin and hang in the smoke.

[ ----- Apicius, Book II, Chapter IV]


NOTE: These are traditionally made with pork. However, since the

Prince cannot eat pork of any kind, i wanted a non-pork meat for him

to eat (and everyone else, of course).


15 lb. ground Lamb (3 oz per sausage)

some Fat

1/4 cup and 1 heaping Tb. ground Cumin Seeds

1 Tb. ground Black Pepper

1/2 cup dried Savory

1/4 cup chopped Chinese Celery Leaves or Lovage Herb

1/2 heaping cup chopped fresh Italian (flat leaf) Parsley

(other herbs)

300 Juniper Berries

1-1/2 cups Tiparos (brand) Thai Fish Sauce

1 Tb. Liquid Smoke Flavoring

1-3/4 to 2 cups whole Pine Nuts

300 whole Black Peppercorns


Before Feast:


1. Mix herbs and spices.

2. Add fish sauce and liquid smoke.

3. Divide the meat and seasonings into quarters to assure even

distribution of seasonings.

3. Mix seasonings well with ground meat.

4. Mix pine nuts and whole peppercorns with meat.

5. Shape into 80 sausage-kebabs.

6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until done, turning occasionally.

7. Freeze.


At the Feast:


1. Thaw sausages

2. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until well-heated through.


NOTE: Because i couldn't find bay berries i substituted juniper berries.

NOTE: These were snarfed down with no leftovers and people coming to

the kitchen asking for more.

NOTE: I wanted to stuff them into casings, but it was not easy to

find a small quantity of non-pork casings (take a look at the

ingredients for those chicken sausages in the supermarket - most are

stuffed into pork casings). While a local halal market could get

non-pork casings for me, i had to buy a whole package - $45 for

enough casings for 50 lb of meat - and to use them, one has to soak

the whole package and then untangle them and you can't save what you

don't use. And a local butcher, who was going to stuff my recipe into

casings for me, said that the synthetic casings are horrible. Maybe

some other time i'll make that 50 lb. of sausages and freeze them.


Sinapim - Mustard Sauce



To prepare mustard: Carefully clean mustard seed, sieve it. Wash in

cold water. Soak 2 hours. Squeeze by hand. Put in a mortar and grind.

Put in a few glowing coals, pour water with natron over it, so

bitterness is removed. Pour off all the liquid. For banquets add pine

nuts and almonds, grind together thoroughly. Then add vinegar. Mix

and strain.

[ ----- Columella, de Re Rustica, 12, 57, edited]


two 2.25 lb jars of Grey-Poupon Dijon Mustard

1 cup Pine Nuts

1 cups ground Almonds


1. Grind pine nuts.

2. Mix with mustard and set aside a clearly marked dish for the


3. Stir in ground almonds.


NOTE: OK, OK, so i took the lazy way out. It's not that hard to mix

powdered mustard with vinegar. I made Lombard Mustard to put in the

Compost i made...



Patina de Persicis - Peaches in Cumin Sauce


Original Recipes:

Peach Patina: Peel some firm peaches, cut in chunks, and cook. Place

in a patina pan and drizzle with oil. Serve with cumin sauce.

[ ----- Apicius, Book IV, Chapter II, Recipe 34]


Cuminatum: Another cumin sauce: pepper, lovage, parsley, dried mint,

a large amount of cumin, honey, vinegar, fish sauce.

[ ----- Apicius, Book I, Chapter XV, Recipe 2]



1 Tb. roasted Cumin Seed

1/2 cup chopped Italian (flat-leaf) Parsley

1/2 cup Chinese Celery Leaves or Lovage Herb

1 Tb. crumbled dried Mint

1/2 tsp. Black Pepper

1/2 cup Red or White Wine Vinegar

3/4 cup Honey

2 Tb. Tiparos (brand) Thai Fish Sauce


1. Roast cumin seed in a dry pan until fragrant and just darkening.

2. Cool somewhat, then grind cumin.

3. Mix roasted cumin with pepper, lovage, parsley, and mint.

4. Put vinegar and honey in a sauce pan on medium heat.

5. Stir in seasonings.

6. Simmer briefly, stirring, until liquefied and well seasoned.



40 fresh ripe Peaches

1 cup Olive Oil


1. Plunge peaches into boiling water briefly.

2. Drain, then remove skins.

3. Halve, removing pits.

4. Cut in chunks - putting 4 peaches on a separate dish for vegetarians.


Finish Dish

1. Put 4 peaches for the vegetarians in a small baking pan.

2. Put remaining peaches for everyone else in a large baking pan.

2. Toss all peaches with olive oil.

3. Separate a dish of sauce for the vegetarians. Season with a tsp.

of soy sauce.

4. For remaining sauce, stir in fish sauce.

5. Pour cumin sauce onto peaches in baking dishes, keeping vegetarian

dish separate.

6. Bake in 350 oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, until just barely

beginning to bubble.

7. Plate, keeping vegetarian peaches separate.



The peaches were ripe enough to peel without plunging in boiling

water. We also didn't cook them. We just cut them up and mixed them

with the sauce.


These were incredibly delicious, in part because of the high quality

of the peaches which were perfectly ripe. I had bought the case of

peaches about 4 days before the feast, and kept them in a cool dark

place until the feast.



Cabbage the Athenian Way



Cabbage should be sliced with the sharpest possible iron blace, then

washed, drained, and chopped with plenty of coriander and rue. Then

sprinkle with honey vinegar and add just a little bit of silphium.

[ ----- Mnesitheus (4th c. BCE), quoted in Oribasius, Medical

Collections, Book IV, Chapter 4, part 1 (4th c. CE); another version

in Cato (c. 234-149 BCE) and quoted by Pliny the Elder (24-79 CE)]


Oxymeli - Honey Vinegar

Simmer honey until it foams, discard, the scum, add enough vinegar to

make it neither too sharp nor too sweet, boil again until it is mixed

and not raw. For use, mix with water, just as you would mix wine with


[ ----- Galen, Staying Healthy, Book 4, Chapter 6]



1-1/2 cup Honey

1/2 cup Red or White Wine Vinegar


Mix honey and vinegar; simmer until well blended; cool.



10 lb Cabbage - we used 1 head green and 2 heads napa

3/4 cup chopped fresh Cilantro

1/2 cup chopped fresh Rue or Chinese Celery Leaves

2 cups Oxymel

1/4 cup Salt

1-1/4 tsp. Asafoetida Powder


1. Finely shred cabbage.

2. Mix herbs, oxymel, salt, and asafoetida.

3. Toss with cabbage.

4. Taste and adjust seasonings.


Note: Silphium, also known as laser, is no more, alas. However, many

historians are convinced it was closely related to asafoetida and it

appears that, in fact, asafoetida was used as a replacement after

siplhium became extinct.


Pulentium - Barley Polenta



Vicenis hordei libris ternas seminis lini et coriandri selibram

salisque acetabulum.


20 librae of barley, 3 librae of linseeds and 1/2 libra of coriander,

in addition to an acetabulum of salt.

[ ----- Pliny, Naturalis Historia, 18, 73]


2-1/2 lb. Barley Grits (from health food store)

3 gallons Vegetable Broth

1-1/2 cups Flax Seeds/Linseeds

1/2 cup whole Coriander Seeds

additional Salt as needed

additional Water as needed


1. Put all ingredients into automatic rice cookers - this will take

several batches, not all at once.

2. Turn on rice cookers.

3. When the rice cookers indicates that it is done, check it. It

might not be. If not, start up rice cooker again, or finish on the

stove or in an oven.


NOTE: No store seemed to be carrying the Arrowhead Mills barley grits

i had purchased last year!!! So i bought whole barley with the hulls

off, NOT pearl barley. Then we ran it through the food processor a

few times. It never achieved the character of grits but most of it

was broken up to a greater or lesser extent.


NOTE: The cook in charge of making the polenta decided to do it on

stove top, rather than in the rice cookers, as i had done before,

which worked fine. Also the coriander seeds and flax seeds didn't

make it into the pot with the barley, so we cooked them separately in

broth, then mixed them into the barley. While the texture of the

barley was much "chunkier" than at the previous feast because of how

we had processed the barley itself, it tasted fine.


NOTE: In reviewing the recipe, it appears to me that the flax seeds

and coriander seeds should also be ground... next time...



Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2003 11:02:04 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Greco-Roman Feast, Courses 5 & 6

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


These were the final two courses. Roman meals often had both sweets

and savories in the final course. While none of these dishes was

savory, some of them were not very sweet.


NOTE: All recipes serve 80 to 100






Secunda Mensa, Cena Prima

Second Course, First Table


Conditum - Spiced White Wine/Grape Juice

Pine Nut Patina

Sweet Must Cakes


Secunda Mensa, Cena Secunda

Second Course, Second Table


Savillum - Roman cheese cake

Almond Paste Peach Pits in Sugar Plate Chariots

Mixed Fresh Fruit Salad




CONDITUM - Spiced White Grape Juice



Contium Paradoxum Compositum:

Spiced Wine Surprise is made as follows: 15 lb. of honey are put in a

metal vessel into which you have previously put 2 pints of wine, so

as to boil down the wine while cooking the honey. It is heated over a

slow fire of dry wood, stirring all the while with a stick; when it

begins to boil over it is checked by adding [cold] wine; it also

sinks when removed from the fire. When cool it is heated once more.

This must be done a second and third time, and only then is it

removed from the fire, and skimmed on the following day. Then take 4

oz. pepper, 3 scruples of pounded mastic, a handful each of aromatic

leaf [tejpat/malabathron] and saffron, 5 roasted date-stones, the

dates softened in wine, having previously been soaked in wine of the

right kind and quality, so as to produce a soft mash. These

preparations completed, pour over 18 pints of sweet wine. In the end

add coals, if it is too bitter.

[ ----- Apicius, Book I, Chapter I, Recipe 1]


This should have been made with wine. However, SCA rules do not allow

the purchase of wine or other alcohol for serving as beverages.

Therefore i substituted white grape juice, spiked with Middle Eastern

sour white grape juice so it wouldn't be too cloying.


5-1/3 cans White Grape Juice Concentrate

Water, enough to make 2 gallons of juice

10 fresh Dates, soaked in juice

3 lb. Honey

1/2 cup White Wine Vinegar

1/2 cup Verjus/Sour White Grape Juice

1-1/2 Tb. ground Black Pepper

10 Tejpat/Malabathron Leaf/Bay Leaves

3/4 tsp. Saffron

3/4 tsp. Gum Mastic


Reconstitute juice.

Soak dates in a small amount of juice until soft.

Mix 6 cups of juice with honey and bring to boil.

Add seasonings and cook on medium-low heat for a few minutes.

Then cool.

Add remainder of juice, then stir in vinegar and verjus to taste.

Let stand overnight.



Can be diluted to taste with water.


NOTE: This was a surprise hit. Several folks who said they very much

disliked grape juice asked me for the recipe.






An Inverted Patina as Dessert:

Pine nuts, peeled and chopped nuts, are roasted, grind with honey,

pepper, fish sauce, milk, eggs, a little undiluted wine and oil.

Turn into a plate.

[ ----- Apicius, Book IV, Chapter II, Recipe 16]


Modern recipe courtesy of Cordelia Toser, who cooked them all for the



50 large Eggs (4 doz. + 2 eggs)

5 cups ground Pine Nuts

5 cups Clover Honey

2-1/2 tsp Black Pepper

5 tsp Salt

2 Tb. and 1-1/2 tsp White Wine

2 Tb. Olive Oil

30 cups Whole Milk


Butter a 1-1/2 quart glass casserole.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In large bowl, beat eggs until uniform.

Add other ingredients and blend until smooth.

Place casserole in large baking pan that is about 2 inches deep.

Pour egg mixture into casserole and add warm water into baking pan.

Try to get the water level about the same as the egg mixture.

Gently place pan in center oven.

Bake until the edges of the custard should be brown and the center is

no longer liquid.  That should be about 35 to 40 minutes.

Remove casserole from oven and cool on wire rack until it reaches

room temperature.


It may be served warm or cold.  Leftovers must be refrigerated.


NOTE: I figure this is not very much like the actual Roman version.

But Cordelia's recipe is scrumptious and super yummy and it was a big

hit. Some diners ate five helpings.






Must cakes to be made thus:

two gallons of bread-wheat flour to be moistened with must; add to

this anise, cumin, 2 lb. lard, 1 lb. cheese, and grate in the park of

a bay twig; when you have shaped them, put bay leaves under them

while you cook them.

[ ----- Cato the Censor, De Agricultura, 121]


4 lb unbleached white wheat flour

1 cup must

   - - - or - scant 1/2 cup red wine - plus - scant 1/2 cup red grape

juice concentrate

   - - - or - soak 1/4 to 1/2 cup dark raisins in 1-1/2 cups warm water

until soft and plump.

Strain out, squeezing liquid out of raisins. There should be about 1

cup of liquid

1 lb. butter alone or mixed with sesame oil

1-1/4 lb. farmer or pot cheese, or *real* cream cheese without gums

(i.e., NOT Philadelphia brand or those like it)

3 Tb. lightly toasted anise seeds

3 Tb. roasted cumin seeds

80 bay leaves


1. Toast cumin and anise seeds separately.

2. Mix butter and soft cheese.

3. Work butter and soft cheese into flour by hand.

4. Mix in whole toasted seeds.

5. Mix in must or wine-and-grape juice or raisin juice.

6. Cover 2 jelly roll/sheet pans with a single layer of bay leaves.

7. Divide dough into two equal balls.

8. Pat each dough ball down a bit.

9. Lay one ball over the bay leaves on one sheet, and pat out until

it covers the baking sheet completely. Repeat with other ball.

10. Bake 350 degrees F. for 15 min or until golden.

11. Score thoroughly into 50 bars per pan while still warm.

12. Cool in pan.

13. Break out bars to serve.



To be perfectly honest, i didn't really have or use a recipe for

these. I just winged it. I hauled the ingredients to the site

kitchen, and with a some guidance from Euriol - since it has been a

very long time since i baked cookie like things - i just faked it. So

the recipe above is not really quite what i used or what i did. But

since i just improvised, you can take this info and improv your own.


I used a tad over 1 cup of must as that was all the container had. It

was expensive. Next time i will use homemade raisin juice and add



I left out the cumin seeds at the feast.


This could have taken some additional sweetener.


The resulting bars were somewhat crunchy on top, and soft and chewy

on the bottom. I found them very pleasing. I guess others did too, as

there were none left over. And I'd like to make them again!



SAVILLUM - Roman cheese cake



Make a savillum thus:

Mix 1/2 libra of flour and 2 1/2 librae of cheese, as is done for

libum. Add 1/4 libra of honey and 1 egg. Grease an earthenware bowl

with oil. When you have mixed the ingredients well, pour into the

bowl and cover the bowl with an earthenware testo. See that you cook

it well in the middle where it is highest. When it is cooked, remove

the bowl, spread with honey, sprinkle with poppy, put it back

underneath the testo for a moment, and then remove. Serve it thus

with a plate and spoon.

[ ----- Cato the Censor, de Agricultura (84)]


Prior to Feast



1 lb Flour

5 lb Ricotta Cheese

1/2 lb Honey

3 Eggs

(pinch of Salt might be good)


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter baking dishes (a Pyrex bowl for each table would be nice...

dream on...)

Mixed flour, cheese, honey, and eggs well.

Pour into baking dishes, cover with foil.

Bake until set (not dry) in the middle, about 30 minutes (test with

toothpick or knife).


On Site


additional Honey

Black Poppy Seeds


Spread honey on top of cheese cakes and sprinkle with poppy seeds.

Put under the broiler briefly to melt honey.


NOTE: This was rather thin and dry. I think it was cooked too long.

The original implies that it isn't a thoroughly dry dish. Needs

further experimentation to perfect. It was mostly all eaten, anyway.



Almond Paste "Peach Pits" in Sugar Plate Chariots


These are not at all authentically Roman, but they were for show.

They CANNOT be served to the Princess who is deathly allergic to



Gianetta experimented with sugar paste to make the chariots.


Faux Peach Pits


I must thank Mistress Rose de la Mans who very generously taught me

and Gianetta del Bene how to make the peach pits and loaned us the

molds she had made.



Huessos de duraznos -- Peach pits

Take half a pound of almonds, and blanch them, and grind them, and

take a pound of sugar, ground and sifted, knead it with the almond

until it is well kneaded, and if it does not stay very firm, cast in

a little more almond, and take an ounce of very fine cinnamon, and

two adarmes of red sanders, all very well ground and sifted, cast it

in the paste, and knead everything very well, until it takes on a

good color, and the dough being well-tempered, which is not soft,

sprinkle it on top with sifted sugar, so that it doesn't stick, and

make pieces, and in each one put an almond, or a half, and sprinkle

them with sugar, and put them in your molds and remove them, and set

them to dry.

[ ----- Diego Granado, Libro del Arte de Cozina (Spanish, 1599),

Trans. Lady Brighid ni Chiarain (Robin Carroll-Mann)]


almond paste

whole almonds

red saunders

true cinnamon


Powder the red saunders in an electric coffee grinder or tiny blender


Knead almond paste with hands.

When the right consistency, add the powdered red saunders and the

true cinnamon powder.

Work with the hands a bit

If using home ground almonds - may need to add a few drops of almond

flavor or almond oil depending on freshness of almonds...


NOTE: So we cheated again. I bought almond paste (NOT marzipan) at

The Berkeley Bowl, since previous attempts with blanched almonds

ended in failure, as the nuts and sugar just weren't moist enough.

The marzipan they sell is very white, very finely ground, and quite

sweet, whereas the almond paste is very pale tan, has more texture

(isn't chunky, just not as fine), and is a bit less sweet.


NOTE: Rose used some kind of polymer clay to make the molds from

genuine peach pits. She loaned them to us. Gianetta make at least 80

of these things herself. Whew!





Traditionally a Roman banquet ended with fresh fruit. I figured we

wouldn't need much, since folks ought to be pretty full. I also felt

that a bowl of whole fruits on the table wouldn't go over that well,

so i took various fruits the Romans ate and turned them into a simple

fruit salad. I added sugar and flower waters. This is not authentic.


red grapes

black grapes

1 ripe yellow melon (not cantaloupe)

1 ripe green melon

2 ripe pomegranates

a few each pears and apples

a little white sugar

rose water

orange flower water


Wash fruit.

Peel and/or cut up fruit, as necessary. For pomegranate, slit skin

and carefully peel away from seeds. Release juicy seeds from pith.

Mix together.

Toss with a little sugar, rose water, and orange flower water.

Let stand from at least 15 min. to macerate.


<the end>

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