Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium


This document is also available in: text or RTF formats.

fd-Romans-msg – 3/26/10


Food of Classical Rome. Apicius.


NOTE: See also the files: Roman-Recipes-art, cb-rv-Apicius-msg, Italy-msg, Roman-hygiene-msg, garum-msg, salt-msg, Byzantine-msg, fd-Byzantine-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: Mon, 26 Jun 2000 10:02:55 -0700

From: "E. Rain" <raghead at liripipe.com>

Subject: SC - RE: sca-cooks V1 #2404


Good morning from Eden,

Alys Katherine wrote re gunthar's request for info on Roman foods "If you're

not in any rush about the research, what might

be available in the records about Pompeii and Herculaneum?"


Along this line I'd suggest looking at 'Art, Culture, & Cuisine'  by Phyllis

Pray Bober.  (The University of Chicago Press, 1998.)  ISBN 0-226-06253-8.


I've only had time to skim it so far, but the section on roman cuisine looks

like it has a lot of content re foods from both Pompeii & Herculaneum.  My

first glance was intersecting enough that i plan to use it as a tour guide

for my visit to Pompeii later this year :->


Also if you have heating facilities for these "food booths" the tarentine

meatballs from apicius are VERY yummy.





Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2000 09:07:25 EDT

From: ChannonM at aol.com

Subject: SC - Roman Recipes LONG


Hello everyone,

Bear (I believe)posted earlier requesting info about Roman finger foods (I

think), here is my collections of recipes that have been mostly direct

redactions, some are adaptions based on other Roman recipes. If any of them

are of interest let me know, I'll post recipe. I've also included a

suggestion to use Vehling (gasp) in conjunction with an online Latin version

of Apicius, it's better than nothing for all it's worth.


I do have a document in the works that has tips on working with Roman food

(ie substitutions for garum) these tips have been gleaned from discussions on

various lists, personal experience and research. It's too long to put on the

cooks list, but could be available to the Florilegium if anyones interested.

I have to tweak a few things, but other than that, it's useable and as

documented as possible.




Flat Bread

Green Beans and chickpeas   (An adapted hummous type dish)

Stuffed Chicken with Sauce ala Apicius

Ne Lactucae Laedant/A harmless salad

Ova Elixa/ Hard Boiled Eggs

Phaseoli Virides Frictae/ Fried Green Beans

Porcus Farcimina Mellitum/Honey Pork Sausage (an adaption of an iscia style


Frumentum/Barley Frumenty

Pernam et Ficus/Ham with Figs

Isicia Amulato ab Aheno/Rissoles with a Thick Sauce in a Metal Casserole

Alicam Vel Succum Tisanai

/Cracked Wheat

Dulcia Domestica/Homemade Sweets



In addition, I came across a reference in the Archaeology magazine,

November/December 1990 Dining with the Ancients-by Edith Evans


Some of her extrapolations are off slightly in my opinion but she mentions

the following that might be of interest to you.


" One example of a site where the study of bones gave an interesting insight

into food consumption was the main baths in the fortress of the Second

Aughustan Legion at Caerleon (Roman Isca) in Britain. The animal remains from

the lowest levels of the principal drain consisted overwhelmingly of chicken

bones with a lesser amount of mutton chops, suggestiong that guests at the

baths wer able to obtain snacks"


I can also recall a painting on a wall in Pompei, that was an advertisement

for the occupants ham, it appears the owner of the building or occupant was a

food vendor.I was concentrating on the food of the Roman Army and didn't hold

on to the reference, but it is very popular in books on Vesuvius and Pompei.


The full latin text of Apicius can be found at


you could use this in conjuction with the Vehling edition so you could at

least analyze the text as Vehling doesn't give the original latin.


here are two good Latin dictionaries on line;




Here are a few websites on Roman food and related links






Here is a really fun reference for Moretaria (Roman cheese spread) that

someone posted on the Apicius list;


The following scene is from Aristophanes' _Peace_. In this scene,

Trygaeus, a crazy old man, is spying on the personification of War. War

makes a "myttotos" (which also happens to be the title of the greek poem

virgil's Moretum is said to be based on!), with each of the ingredients

allegorically representing a city of Greece. Fortunately he can't find

the pestle, required to mash it (and hence Greece) to a pulp.

   This translation comes from Perseus online. The bracketed numerals

indicate line numbers if you want to track down the reference yourself,

say to compare the Greek.



   War:Enters, carrying a huge mortar.

Oh! mortals, mortals, wretched mortals, how your jaws will snap!



   Trygaeus:Oh! divine Apollo! what a prodigious big mortar! Oh, what

misery the very sight of War causes me! [240] This then is

the foe from whom I fly, who is so cruel, so formidable, so stalwart, so

solid on his legs!


   War:Oh! Prasiae! thrice wretched, five times, aye, a thousand times

wretched! for thou shalt be destroyed this day.

   (He throws some leeks into the mortar. )


   Trygaeus: (to the audience. )This, gentlemen, does not concern us over

much; [245] it's only so much the worse for the Laconians.


   War:Oh! Megara! Megara! how utterly are you going to be ground up! what

fine mincemeat are you to be made into!

   (He throws in some garlic. )


   Trygaeus:   (Aside. )Alas! alas! what bitter tears there will be among

the Megarians!


   War:(throwing in some cheese.)[250] Oh, Sicily! you too must perish!

Your wretched towns shall be grated like this cheese. Now let us pour some

Attic honey into the mortar.

   (He does so.)


   Trygaeus: (Aside.)Oh! I beseech you! use some other honey; this kind is

worth four obols;be careful, oh! be careful of our Attic honey.


   War:[255] Hi! Tumult, you slave there!


   Tumult:What do you want?


   War:Out upon you! Standing there with folded arms! Take this cuff on the

head for your pains.


   Tumult:Oh! how it stings! Master, have you got garlic in your fist, I



   War:Run and fetch me a pestle.


   Tumult:But [260] we haven't got one; it was only yesterday we moved.


   War: Go and fetch me one from Athens, and hurry, hurry!


   Tumult:I'll hurry; if I return without one, I shall have no cause for

laughing. [etc.]



Not totally reverent, but amusing!.





Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2000 16:50:46 EDT

From: ChannonM at aol.com

Subject: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #2409


> excerpt from a fictional account of young cleopatra, Cleopatra VII,

> Daughter of the Nile  Egypt 57 B.C.

> " The cook put ground meat onto a plate.  Several small bowls on a

> sideboard held salt and other spices.  He pinched some of each, then

> added a fistful of pine nuts to the meat, mixing it together with his

> hands.  Then he patted the meat into two flat disks, each the size of his

> palm.

> "from a jar he poured olive oil into a pan that was heating on the coals.

>   The oil spit when he dropped in the meat, then began sizzling.... I

> asked what our meal was called.  It had tasted so good.  'The usual', she

> said, 'fried dormouse.' "

> question 1--- did they actually have an equivelent to hamburgers?!  or is

> this just writer's license?


Actually this is very similar to "iscia" type recipes of the Roman food.

Here is my redaction for

Isicia Amulato ab Aheno/Rissoles with a Thick Sauce in a Metal Casserole

The recipe I chose to adapt does not designate which type of meat to use so I

decided to use beef. Beef was not a common meat as it was a work animal and

was rarely found to be other than a tough meat.  However, beef is mentioned

in one recipe  and veal in three more in  Book V Bubula Sive Vitellina/Beef

or Veal,  of the Apicius manuscript (Flower and Rosenbaum).

Original Recipe

Book II Section II-7Isicia Amulata ab Aheno sic facies/Rissoles with a thick

sauce in a metal casserole.

Make as follows;Pound  pepper, lovage, origan, a little silphium, a pinch of

ginger and a little honey blend with liquamen, mix. Pour over the rissoles,

bring to boil. When boiling fast thicken cornflour*and serve. The dish should

be sipped.

* Flower & Rosenbaum,  have substituted cornflour as the thickener of choice

in this recipe. Although I agree with their substitution, the period

thickener was amulum, a wheat or rye starch as corn was not available to the

Roman table.

The original recipe calls for the spices to be cooked in the broth  and the

meatballs to be added. I have chosen to combine the spices, herbs and meat,  

form into meatballs and cook in the liquid ingredients. This choice was one

to facilitate a successful feast dish  for 100, however the choice is up to

the cook and I have used the method of the original recipe as well.

Redacted Recipe

2 lb ground round

3 TB fresh lovage chopped

2 TB fresh oregano chopped

1 1/2 tsp honey

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp asafoetida

1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 tsp anchovy paste in 2 cups beef broth (when working with this recipe, it

was impossible to have it "boil" with out more liquid. I chose to

incorporate the beef stock to accomodate this)

Combine the spices, herbs and ground meat. Form into 2 inch meat balls. In a

large skillet, heat broth and honey. Add meatballs and cook 10 minutes or

until the meat is no longer pink. Remove the meatballs and set aside. Add 2

tsp cornstarch to 1/2 cup cold water and stir into the broth. Bring to a boil

and stir until thickened. Place the meatballs on a platter and pour gravy

over. Serve garnished with parsley.





Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2001 10:07:17 -0700

From: Susan Fox-Davis <selene at earthlink.net>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Roman Cookery Websites was Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: exchanging treats,

singles, etc.


Mari wrote:

> OOOhhh - obligitory foodie content - anyone have any good Roman cookery

> websites book marked???


Let's see...


"The Roman Orgy Page" actually part of an Apicius group, good links

[including sites in German and French]



Part of a Latin 2 online course, related pages are interesting too



MORETUM by Virgil - only one recipe, but what a source!



Selene, Caid



Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2001 11:11:53 -0400

From: kattratt <kattratt at home.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: Roman Cookery Websites


Mari wrote:

> OOOhhh - obligitory foodie content - anyone have any good Roman cookery

> websites book marked???


I have this...






From: "Kayah" <fairyelf at accessv.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Question to the group....

Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2001 22:41:31 -0500


> I doubt pirozhki or pierogies made out of sauerkraut is

> period because first of all sauerkraut is German and i'm not sure what the

> shelf life of sauerkraut is but traveling that far could have ruined it.

> Misha


In Poland, Sauerkraut has a very Polish name: Kapusta Kiszona (trans.

pickled cabbage).. I honestly don't know anything about its periodicity, but

regular cabbage was indeed VERY common for at least the past 1000 years, and

continues to be so :)





Date: Sat, 17 May 2003 21:35:56 -0400

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Roman Display, was Sugar Plate Again


lilinah at earthlink.net wrote: snipped--

> Indeed. We are aware that it isn't Roman. But i'm at a loss for what

> to do to make something rather special, other than serving good tasty

> food - and other than the sugar plate serving dishes and the "Peach

> Pits", the food will be "period". snipped


> But if anyone has any food display ideas for a Roman feast, i'd love to

> hear it. Anahita



You might try looking at books like

Emily Gowers. The Loaded Table. Representations

of Food in Roman Literature. This is more

gastronomy and not cookery. It doesn't have recipes.

There are a number of these that might give you some


Patrick Faas' new book does have recipes:

Around the Roman Table. It might give you some ideas.


Johnnae llyn Lewis   Johnna Holloway



Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2004 06:58:18 -0500

From: margali <mtraber251 at earthlink.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] pig newton / pernam

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>




yay, i finally got my 'pig newton' article webbed=)


Aruvqan, nicknamed Margali



Date: Fri, 2 Apr 2004 22:18:56 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Book question

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>



Does anybody have an opinion about A Taste of Ancient Rome by Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa





It's not the be all, end all of Roman cookery, but it has a wider selection

of recipes than just Apicius.  The recipes consist of a transcription of the

original text, a translation and an adaptation.  There is also information

about the menus, dining and food sources. I find it a nice supplement to

more scholarly works.





Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 22:04:09 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] For those interested in Ancient Roman Dining

To: "mk-cooks at midrealm.org" <mk-cooks at midrealm.org>,  Cooks within the

      SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Jessica's Biscuit is offering the following



   Roman Dining :

A Special Issue of American Journal of Philology

by Gold, Barbara, editor

Paperback - 216 pages Published: June 2005     

Price: $15.96 List: $19.95

You Save: $3.99 (20%)  


This special issue of the American Journal of Philology illuminates the

nature and function of food and dining in the Roman world, offering

historical, sociological, literary, cultural, and material perspectives.

The articles collected here explore topics from diverse fields to

analyze Roman culture and material practice, including the dietary

practices and nutritional concerns of the Romans, dining and its links

to ideology during the early imperial period, public banqueting and its

social function in Roman society, and the emphasis placed on the waiting

servant in both domestic and funerary settings.

The American Journal of Philology is renowned for its role in helping to

shape American classical scholarship. Today the Journal has achieved

worldwide recognition as a forum for international exchange among

classicists by publishing original research in Greco-Roman literature,

and culture.

Additional Information: Black and White Illustrations

ISBN: 0801882028 Johns Hopkins University Press; Item Number: 07134


You can also find it here



Johnnae llyn Lewis



Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 10:53:20 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks]Hagen books and others

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>




Alcock, Joan P. Food in Roman Britain. Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK and

Charleston, SC: Tempus, 2001. Alcock presents archaeological evidence

for what the Romans ate in Britain. This is not a recipe book.


Even earlier -- Wood, Jacqui. Prehistoric Cooking. Stroud,

Gloucestershire, UK and Charleston, SC: Tempus, 2001.

It covers what the prehistoric Celts ate. She talks about the problems

one encounters when attempting to recreate the life of a people who

left no written records.


Johnnae llyn Lewis



Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 11:30:20 -0400

From: Barbara Benson <voxeight at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] ancient Roman cookery

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


I also am fascinated by the Ancient Roman cuisine. I didn't realize

how fascinated I was by it until I looked at my cookbook collection

and realized that I had managed to accumulate quite a few books on the

subject, more so than any other specific period cuisine (except maybe



Here is an interpretation of a Roman Dish that I served at my

Norman-Sicilian feast. It went over like gangbusters. I dropped the

number of spices used to adjust it towards what I felt was a later

style (losing the things that were out of favor by the 12th century).

But I do not believe adding stuff back in would do anything but make

it taste better. And I used canola oil to cut down on the cost of

Olive Oil that I had in the feast.


Another Style for Roasts: Take 6 scruples of parsley, of laser just as

many, 6 of ginger, 5 laurel berries, 6 scruples of preserved laser

root, Cyprian rush 6, 6 of origany, a little costmary, 3 scruples of

chamomile, 6 scruples of celery seed, 12 scruples of pepper, and broth

and oil as much as it will take up.



3 lbs Beef Roast

1 t Pickling Salt

3/4 t Black Pepper

2 t Ground Ginger

2 T Nuc Nam

1 t Dried Oregano

1 T Canola Oil


Combine all ingredients except pepper and allow to marinate for

several hours in refrigerator. Before cooking, add the pepper and seal

tightly in aluminum foil pouch. Preheat oven to 350° F and roast for 1

hour and 25 minutes, or until you have reached desired internal temp.


Glad Tidings,

Serena da Riva



Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 08:43:45 -0700

From: Susan Fox <selene at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] ancient Roman cookery

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Volker Bach wrote:

>> If you've ever made anything with garum, I'd love to hear from you.


>> Aurelia

> Me, I did. Regularly do. Not that being 'pre-period' is regarded highly in

> central Drachenwald, but my secondary persona, Titus Flavius T.f.  

> Artemidorus is something of a gourmet.


> Have you ever managed to get a Roman feast served? They're dead  

> against it in my Shire.

> Giano


Sure. I was the court provisioner [lunch wagon, grin] for a king who

was into Roman Stuff, who trusted me implicitly to make Nice Things and

nothing nasty.  If I had come up with wolf nipple chips and candied

hummingbird tongues, I would have been summarily dismissed, don't you



But it's not like cooks abandoned Apicius in the year 1000, after all.


Try out some of the dishes on your Drachwalders and just don't tell

them the documentation until after they have tried it.  I suggest the

ham and fig pie, nicknamed "Pig Newtons" [takeoff on popular cookie in

the US, Fig Newtons], available in the Florilegium here:

<http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-MEATS/ham-msg.html>;  The Vehling

translation cites a graffito claiming it's so good that you will lick

the dish it was cooked in.


For garum, I use Nuoc Nam, which in is easily available in Southern

California with its rich pan-Asian immigration.  Just a dash will do,

like a dash of any other condiment in a larger dish.





Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 14:14:10 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] ancient Roman cookery

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


Giano answered:

> Have you ever managed to get a Roman feast served? They're dead  

> against it in my Shire.


Whoa! Really?


I made a somewhat expansive Greco-Roman feast a few years ago - no

problem. A couple people (ok, three) were squeamish about fish sauce,

but most people (close to 100) had no such problem.


Here's my menu for around 26 dishes:


**** Ab Ovo Ad Malum ****



* Promulsis - Hors d'Oeuvres *

- Panis : Fresh Bread (made by a Laurel for 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]

(the autocrat has asked me to cook this for his wedding dinner, which

is not a period meal)



* Gustatio - Appetizers *

- Panis : 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]

(i used fresh tuna i got from a Japanese fish market - a little less

than 1 ounce per person, cuz it's expensive)



* Intermezzo Primo *

- Granita di Limone : Lemon Ice

(Not really period, but it was *hot* that day and the hall was hot

and stuffy, so i wanted something refreshing)



Primera Mensa, Cena Prima

First Course, First Table

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

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 Secundo *

- Granita di Melograno : Pomegranate Ice

(Not really period, but it was *hot* that day and the hall was hot

and stuffy, so i wanted something refreshing)



* Primera Mensa, Cena Secunda *

* First Course, Second Table *

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

Recipe 1]

(i ended up not wrapping the ham with figs in dough. I suspect that

part of the reason for cooking it that way in Roman times was to make

sure it was juicy and sweet, but our ham was already cooked and


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

(should be pork, but the Prince keeps kosher so i wanted something he

could eat. I couldn't find non-pork casings, so i formed the ground

lamb into sausage shapes and baked them. We had a small earthquake

while i was making these and there i was, trying to decide if i

should flee downstairs to the street with raw lamb up past my wrists)

- 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]

(this was amazingly popular - really really really sweet delicious

ripe peaches tossed with fish sauce and cumin seed - i toasted the

cumin before i ground it - fabulous - but in large measure because

the peaches were absolutely superb)

- 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]

(i couldn't find barley grits in any stores that used to carry them -

i have since found i must order them directly from the producer. We

gamely tried to grind the whole hulled barley i'd bought - didn't

work too well, but the dish came out ok)



* Seconda Mensa, Cena Prima *

* Second Course, First Table *

- Conditum Paradoxi Compositio : Spiced White Grape Juice Surprise

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

(since we can't serve wine)

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

II, Recipe 2]

(the cook who made it does it like a delicate custard (Hi,

Cordelia!). I'm certain this was not the Roman way, but her Patina is

so incredibly delicious, which is why i asked her to do it. It was

sucked up by the crowd - one person had, oh, i'm forgetting, like 5

helpings - or was it 8?)- Mustei : Sweet Must Cakes [Cato the Censor,

de Agricultura, 121]

(i found that the expensive must i bought tasted a lot like "raisin

juice" which is cheap - next time i substitute it for must and put

more into the recipe)



* 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

(not period, but i wanted some sort of sotiltie)

- Fresh Fruit Salad

(Period fruits, but cut up and tossed together, since whole fruits

would be too much after all this food)


My recipes and comments are at




Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita



Date: Sat, 1 Oct 2005 07:22:52 -0700 (PDT)

From: Aurelia Coritana <aurelia_coritana at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] a sampling of ancient Roma

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


These are the recipes I am planning for an upcoming meal with ancient  

Roman reenactors in my area.  I hope you enjoy them!







4 medium-boiled eggs

2 ounces pine nuts

3 tablespoons vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

Pinch each of pepper and lovage (or celery leaf)


Soak the pine nuts 3-4 hours beforehand in the vinegar.  Medium boil  

the eggs and remove the shell.  Mix all the sauce ingredients  

thoroughly in a blender. This exquisite sauce should be presented in  

a sauce boat so that each person can serve himself or herself, since  

the eggs cannot be sliced and placed on a dish in advance.





100g/3 oz whole green olives

100g/3 oz whole black olives

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

A bunch of fresh coriander leaves

A sprig of rue

2 or 3 mint leaves

2 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp white wine vinegar


Grind the cumin and fennel seeds. Finely chop the coriander, rue and  

mint. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Serve.



(Primae Mensae)



1 kg/2 lb pork

120 ml/4 fl oz olive oil

Juice of half a lemon

1/4 litre / 1/2 pint sweet white wine

5 dried figs

2 tsp coriander seeds

2 tsp dried oregano

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

A handful of fresh parsley

Sea salt


Cut the pork into 2½cm/1" cubes, place them in a casserole and fry in  

a little olive oil until brown.


Grind the coriander seeds and mix with salt and lemon juice in a  

bowl. Roll the pork in the spice mixture.


Chop the figs and boil them in a saucepan for 5 minutes in a few  

tablespoons of water. Puree figs and water then add the wine,  

oregano, vinegar and fig stock to the pork.


Cook the casserole for an hour and a half in an oven pre-heated to  

180°c/350°f/Gas mark 4. Just before serving, sprinkle the finely  

chopped parsley over the pork.



(Accompaniments to the main course)




Whole beets

3 thinly sliced leeks

Ground pepper


Beet stock

Sweet raisin wine


Cook beets, drain and keep the liquid. Slice the beets. Put them in a  

saucepan with leeks.


Grind pepper and cumin. Add to the leeks and beets. Then add stock  

and sweet wine.


Pour this sauce over the vegetables, bring to a boil, then simmer  

till leeks are cooked.





25 g/1 oz dried mushrooms

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp clear honey

Sea salt (optional)


Cover the mushrooms with boiling water and soak for half an hour. Add  

the vinegar and honey and simmer, covered, for half an hour.


Season with salt if desired and serve hot.





200g/6 oz chick peas

100g/3 oz parmesan cheese

A pinch of saffron

Sea salt


Soak the peas overnight. Drain them and put them in a saucepan with 2  

pints of water, the saffron, and the salt.  Boil them for 40 minutes  

or until tender and then drain of the water. Finely grate the cheese  

and stir it in with the peas. Serve while still warm.



(Secundae Mensae)



1 1/2 pounds feta, well drained

3 tablespoons flour

5 tablespoons honey

4 egg yolks

rind of 1/2 orange

rind of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon good wine

4 egg whites

2 tablespoons raisins

4 tablespoons toasted pistachios or walnuts


Beat together the cheese, flour, honey, yolks, rinds, and wine for 8 minutes -

until fluffy and well mixed. Add the raisins and nuts. Beat the whites stiff

and fold gently in.


Butter and flour a spring form pan. Spoon batter into the

pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes - until the crust is golden brown.

Let it cool in the oven another 40 minutes without opening the door. Remove

from the oven. Cool in the pan and then remove the rim. Decorate as  




Aurelia Coritana



Date: Sun, 2 Oct 2005 08:20:35 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] a sampling of ancient Roma

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


I got curious about this recipe because it is more complex than Cato's

Savillum and doesn't match the white tort recipes I've seen.  Also the

addition of orange to a Roman recipe is a red flag on the historical



The recipe appears on the Antique Roman Cookery in February 1999.  The

author has this to say about it:


"In a message dated 2/5/99 4:42:46 AM Central Standard Time,

hibou at ... writes:


> Where is this recipe from? It includes oranges which AFAIK were  

> unknown to the ancient Romans.


This was adapted from a recipe mentioned in a book I read, which cited Pliny

as the reference. I admit I have been unable to find it in any of Pliny's

works, but it is still a tasty (if smelly) cheesecake. I did adapt it

slightly for modern use - I used orange instead of pomegrante because

pomegranate is diffilcult to get in all parts of the US. Lemon was known at

that time -although it was probably more bitter than what we use now.




The problem with this response is Pliny doesn't give recipes (other than by

accident) and I don't remember any references to cheesecake.  The most

commonly quoted Roman cheesecake recipe is from Cato and is much simpler

than this recipe.  From the available evidence, I would say the recipe does

not represent a true Roman recipe.




> I've lost track of my source for that feta cheesecake - It was a website

> that I was darned sure I had bookmarked. I'll see if I can track it  

> down for you, though...

> Aurelia



Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 06:20:04 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

      <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] a sampling of ancient Roma

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


On Oct 3, 2005, at 12:39 AM, Stefan li Rous wrote:


> Aurelia said:

>> These are the recipes I am planning for an upcoming meal with ancient

>> Roman reenactors in my area.  I hope you enjoy them!


>> (Gustatio)

> Thanks. But I'm confused. Are you Aurelia? Or Gustatio? Or is the

> latter not a name? Or is one for your Roman reenactment group and

> Aurelia is your SCA name?


Someone named Aurelia is presumably female, so her name probably

wouldn't end in an "o". Unless someone stated otherwise, I'd assume,

taken somewhat out of context as it is here, that the word "Gustatio"

is being used to designate the first, or "appetizer" or "aperitif"

course of a Roman dinner. Usually salads, boiled eggs with a sauce,

things with anchovies, that sort of thing. Generally the course that

follows is the prima mensa, which can get confusing, as it is sort of

like following hors d'oeuvres with a first course.





Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2006 00:21:14 -0400

From: "King's Taste Productions" <kingstaste at comcast.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Roman food for kids - long, was: demos, Help

To: "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>



I have been asked to do a cooking demo at my son's school.  They want

Roman. Any suggestions?





I have done a couple of Romano-British feasts for my students.  Here are

some of my notes.  Yes, Stephan, you may.




Simple food ideas for what to bring to a Romano-British Feast

(handout for parents)


hazelnuts, walnuts, pine nuts

crabapples, raspberries, blackberries

Apples, grapes, figs, pears, plums, cherries

Turnips, cabbages, lettuce, peas, lentils, carrots, artichokes,

cucumber, asparagus, parsnip, celery

Salmon, trout, crab

Beef, pork, lamb

Dates, almonds, olives

Grape juice, apple juice, cider



Simple Roman Recipes

(handout for students and parents)


Stuffed Dates

6 dates per person

shelled almonds, hazelnuts or pine nuts (1 per date)

pepper and salt

3 tablespoons honey


Buy pitted dates or remove the pits.  Stuff one nut and a little pepper

into each date.  Roll the dates in salt, then heat the honey in a frying

pan, heat the dates in the honey.  Can be served hot or cold.



Chick-peas in Saffron

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

[Piloxenus "The Dinner" quoted in Anthenaeus (circa AD170-239)]


200 grams dried chick-peas

Generous pinch of saffron

Sea salt


Soak the chick peas overnight. Drain them and put them in a heavy pan

with 1 litre of water and salt. Bring to the boil, add the saffron, stir

and simmer, covered, very gently for at least one hour.  Taste to check

on saltiness.

Serve Warm.



Braised Cucumbers (Cucumeres)

'When scraped and cooked in olive oil, vinegar and honey, cucumbers are

without doubt more delicious'  [Pliny's "Natural History" (circa AD



1 large cucumber

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp clear honey

Sea salt (optional)


Peel and cut the cucumber into thick slices.  Pour the white wine

vinegar, olive oil and honey into a heavy pan and cook the slices of

cucumber gently in the sauce until they are tender, shaking the pan

occasionally to redistribute the cucumber slices and ensure even

cooking. Serve hot as a side dish.



Granita di Limone - Lemon Ice (you can cheat and buy this at the store!)




(served in class)




Olives, Pita Bread

Moretum (Herb and Cheese Spread)

Aqua Granata (Pomegranate Water)



(From the Garden)

Cymas Et Caulicules (Young Cabbage Sprouts)

Tisana Farrica (Rice, Lentils, Chickpeas, and Herbs)



(Sumptuous Dishes)

BOLETO FUNGOS (Seasoned Mushrooms)


PULLUS CUM ANETHI (Chicken with Dill Sauce)




       Dried Apricots, Dates, and Cherries






AQUA GRANATA (Pomegranate Water) - POM pomegranate juice and water


ASSATURAM SIMPLICEM (Roman Roast) - fresh beef brisket, sea salt, black

pepper, wildflower honey


BOLETO FUNGOS (Seasoned Mushrooms) - button, French Horn and shiitake

mushrooms, Pacific mushroom broth, cilantro, white peppercorns, white

wine vinegar, red wine, red vermouth


CUCUMERES (Braised Cucumbers) - organic cucumbers, white wine vinegar,

wildflower honey, e.v. olive oil, fresh mint sprigs


CYMAS ET CAULICULES (Young Cabbage Sprouts) - broccoli, cauliflower,

scallions, cumin, cilantro


DRIED FRUITS AND NUTS - Dried Apricots, Cherries, and Pine Nuts


Moretum (Herb and Cheese Spread) garlic, cilantro, Italian flat-leafed

parsley, celery leaves, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Pecorino Romano

cheese, salt


OLIVES -Kalamata, Orando Gaeta


PITA BREAD - Commercial Wheat


PULLUS CUM ANETHI (Chicken with Dill Sauce) - chicken cooked in aromatic

broth, dill seed, brown mustard, figs, red wine.


TISANA FARRICA (Rice, Lentils, Chickpeas and Herbs) brown rice, brown

lentils, French green lentils, chickpeas, olive oil, salt, chopped fresh

cilantro, Italian flat-leafed parsley, fennel bulb and leaf, scallions



Foods in Roman Britain

(handout for younger students)


Foods native to Britain before the Romans

Salmon, eels, trout, pike, crab, lobsters

cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, red deer, roe deer, wild ox, wild boar

otter, beaver, hare

grouse, ptarmigan, greylag goose, whooper swan

milk (but not cheese, according to Pliny)

honey, hazelnuts, walnuts, pine nuts, beech nuts, acorns

crabapples, raspberries, bilberries, blackberries, elderberries, wood strawberries

wheat (emmer), spelt, oats, barley, rye (developed more under the


asparagus, wild chives, Celtic bean, sea kale, sea holly, hogweed,

bracken, chestnuts, wild garlic, wild cabbage, sea spinach, chard,

mallow, fat hen, purslane, nettle, lily bulbs, puffball mushroom



Foods introduced to Britain by the Romans

            Pheasants, peacocks, guinea fowl, rabbits, fallow deer

Apples, grape vines, fig, walnut, medlar, mulberry, damsons, pears,

plums, cultivated cherries, sweet chestnut

Parsley, borage, dill, fennel, mint, thyme, garlic, leek, onion,

shallot, rosemary, sage, savory, sweet marjoram, radish, thyme

Turnips, cabbages, lettuce, endive, peas, lentils, carrots, artichokes,

cucumber, asparagus, parsnip, celery



      Imported Commodities

Dates, almonds, olives, wine, olive oil, pine nuts,

fish sauce (liquamen or garum), pepper, ginger, cinnamon



Foods and Farming

(handout for older students)


Foods introduced to Britain by the Romans

            Pheasants, peacocks, guinea fowl, fallow deer

Apples, grape vines, fig, walnut, medlar, mulberry, damsons, pears,

plums, cultivated cherries, sweet chestnut

Parsley, borage, dill, fennel, mint, thyme, garlic, leek, onion,

shallot, rosemary, sage, savory, sweet marjoram, radish, thyme

Turnips, cabbages, lettuce, endive, peas, lentils, carrots, artichokes,

cucumber, asparagus, parsnip, celery


      Imported Commodities

Dates, almonds, olives, wine, olive oil, pine nuts,

fish sauce (liquamen or garum), pepper, ginger, cinnamon


Enclosed Game Parks

      The Romans were probably the first people with the idea of

enclosing vast tracts of land for game parks.  They kept and hunted

deer, wild boar, and bears.  They used dogs to help them hunt.  They

kept snails in jars for cleaning and fattening, and kept dormice in

pottery vessels and fed on acorns and chestnuts.  They built columbaria

or pigeon houses to keep wood pigeons


Farming Techniques

      Scientific management of livestock

      Turnips introduced as winter feed for livestock

improvements in tools such as hammers, saws, axes, planes

      Benefits of Free Food for poor citizens



      Kitchens & Cooking

      Complex Roman recipes required more cooking technique than the

simpler stews, roasts and pottages of the prehistoric cooking tradition.

They used a raised brick hearth, with cooking vessels raised on

gridirons and tripods.  Ovens were built for baking and roasting.

Stoves were heated with wood or charcoal.

Wooden spoons were common. Food was ground up and mashed with a mortar

and pestle. Bronze graters, saucepans and strainers were used, along

with bronze pans that were coated with silver because bronze can have a

toxic reaction with certain foods. Some pans were made of lead. Pans

included a round pan called a patella; a patera was a hemispherical pan;

a patina was a deep pan. An olla was a wide-mouthed container for

cooking food.  When a commercially-purchased bottle was empty of

whatever it had originally contained, it was kept and reused to store

food in the kitchen. Because pots were not glazed, they would sour as

they aged, so the Romans threw a lot of them away.



Read More About Food in Roman Britain

(handout for parents and students)


Apicius - The surname of several men in Ancient Rome, of whom at least

two were known for setting a good table.  Marcus Apicius lived around

100 B.C., and M. Gabius Apicius, who lived under Augstus and Tiberius,

80 B.C. to 40 A.D.  This collection of recipes was augmented many times,

the latest additions coming from sometime in the 3rd century.


Flower, Barbara & Rosenbaum, Elizabeth, Translators. Apicius, The Roman

Cookery Book. Peter Nevill, Ltd, London & New York: 1958.



Dover edition, printed in 1977, an unabridged edition of the work

originally published in 1936.  Generally considered inferior to the F&R

translation noted above.   (noted as  [V. AP]  and  [F&R AP]  on the



Ancient Arts On-Line: The Roman Cookery Page



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

Greece. Routledge, London & New York: 1996.


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

World. Routledge, London & New York: 2000.


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

California Press, Berkeley & Los Angeles: 2000.


Dalby, Andrew and Grainger, Sally. The Classical Cookbook. British

Museum Press, London: revised edition 2000.


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

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

Hampshire UK: 1994, 2003.


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

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


Grant, Mark.  Roman Cookery: Ancient Recipes for Modern Kitchens

Interlink Pub Group  July 2000 ISBN: 1897959397


Renfrew, Jane. Food & Cooking in Roman Britain.  English Heritage, 1985.

ISBN 1 85074 534 x



Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2006 00:29:54 -0400

From: "King's Taste Productions" <kingstaste at comcast.net>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Roman food for kids addendum

To: "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


I should have mentioned the service style as well.  We collapsed the

legs on three tables (for 16 or so diners) and put tablecloths on them.

We asked all of the children to bring a big pillow to lounge on.  On the

table were games, dice, table settings.  They sat on the floor and

overflow cloths, and leaned on the pillows (we ended up with lots).  The

parents helped me serve, the kids thought that being served at table (on

the floor) by their parents was the coolest thing ever!


One of my kid's father is a medieval professor, and he brought Cato "On

Agriculture" and read a passage in Latin and then in English during the



I thought it was cool.


I announced each course and talked about the foods.  They were all

expected to try each dish, although not to finish it.  They just had to

taste. I served the first course and came out and all anyone had

touched was the white bread. I said "You did not come here today to eat

lunch, you came to learn about new things you have never tried before.

I'd be willing to guess that everyone here knew what white bread tasted

like before today, right?" (lots of nodding heads).  :)  Overall, both

groups have loved it.  The older group I did it for was teens - 13 - 16,

the second group was younger - 5-9.  And all the parents and siblings

that could get there.





Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2008 15:58:06 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Forthcoming titles Fall 2008 LONG

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


As promised sometime back here's a list of some forthcoming

fall 08- winter 09

titles that might be of interest to readers of this list.

They cover a full range of topics.

I've included details, descriptions or links where I have them.

A number of the lists I used didn't record prices possibly because

they were not yet set.





There are new editions appearing:


These include a new edition of Roman Cookery: Ancient Recipes for

Modern Kitchens  (Paperback) by Mark Grant

   coming in November. *Paperback:* 192 pages

Serif Publishing; 2 Rev Upd edition (November 15, 2008)



Date: Mon, 06 Jul 2009 22:30:56 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cato as a recipe source

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


Mark Grant's volume Roman Cookery: Ancient Recipes for Modern Kitchens

features a number of recipes from Cato or suggested by Cato.

Cato and Varro: On Agriculture (Loeb Classical Library No. 283) is

available in a hardcover edition for $24.




David Friedman wrote:

<<< I just came across the recipes in De Agricultura. Are other people

familiar with them?


http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cato/De_Agricultura/E*.html >>>



Date: Tue, 7 Jul 2009 07:30:41 -0400

From: Elaine Koogler <kiridono at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cato as a recipe source

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


I also found a few recipes, plus some other information in a book "A Taste

of Ancient Rome" by Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa and Anna Herklotz.  Not sure how

great the book is, but at the time it was very helpful and one of the few

sources from the period that was available (about 10 years ago!)




On Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 10:30 PM, Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com> wrote:

<<< Mark Grant's volume Roman Cookery: Ancient Recipes for Modern Kitchens

features a number of recipes from Cato or suggested by Cato.

Cato and Varro: On Agriculture (Loeb Classical Library No. 283) is

available in a hardcover

edition for $24.


Johnnae >>>



Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2009 14:34:46 -0400

From: Barbara Benson <voxeight at gmail.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Roman Servingware

To: Cooks List <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


I am doing some research for something else and I came across this

interesting photograph on Flickr:



The caption reads:

Fresco from a tomb at Pompeii, located outside the vesuvian gate. It

shows a set of roman silverware laid out on a table, with red drapes



Thought it might pique someone's interest here on the list.


Serena da Riva



Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 23:27:24 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] My "Roman Meal" display at A and S


H Westerlund-Davis wrote:

<<< Was that cantelope with fish sauce as part of a dressing? What a

wild combination. I would think it would have to be a mild form of a

fish sauce. Does it explain why fish? I immediately thought of salt

and sweet combination. >>>


There are some common combinations in Roman cooking...and fish sauce

shows up in almost everything


For a 26-dish Roman feast i made for 80 diners, i prepared peaches

with ground roasted cumin, lovage (i substituted Chinese parsley

because i couldn't find fresh lovage herb), and fish sauce. It was a

huge hit.


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]



Another cumin sauce: pepper, lovage, parsley, dried mint, a large

amount of cumin, honey, vinegar, fish sauce.

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


My Versions:


Cumin Sauce (make first)


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.

3. Toss all peaches with olive oil.

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

of soy sauce.

5. For remaining sauce, stir in fish sauce.

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

dish separate.

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

beginning to bubble.

8. 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. Most of them were eaten and we in the kitchen

kept slurping them up. They were my favorite dish of the feast.


Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita



Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:26:26 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Looking for a Roman sweet


Euriol wrote:

<<< Something I made years ago was a pinenut custard. It was a baked

custard, and certainly something that can be done in advanced and

served cold. >>>


It is a Patina, which, as i read the recipe, is not a custard,

although i have eaten it prepared as a custard. Here is a custard

version, from my website, as served at my Greco-Roman feast:





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] (as published in

Flower and Rosenbaum)


Feast Version:

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

feast, including a special custard cup for the Prince that had soy

milk instead of regular milk.


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 (= 1 Tb. + 2 tsp.)

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

2 Tb. Olive Oil

30 cups Whole Milk (= 1 gallon + 3 quarts + 2 cups)


Butter each 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.



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

recipe is scrumptious and super yummy and it was a big hit. Some

diners ate five helpings.


----- End Recipe -----


I confess i'm not entirely sure how many baking pans this takes, 10,

i think, given how many we were feeding. And it does keep for days in

the fridge.


Urtatim [that's err-tah-TEEM]

the persona formerly known as Anahita



Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 14:20:19 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Looking for a Roman sweet


lilinah at earthlink.net wrote:

<<< 50 large Eggs (4 doz. + 2 eggs)


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

2 Tb. Olive Oil

30 cups Whole Milk (= 1 gallon + 3 quarts + 2 cups) >>>


From: Antonia Calvo <dama.antonia at gmail.com>

<< Those seem like *microscopic* quantities of wine and oil for 50 eggs and

nearly two gallons of milk. >>


Adamantius wrote:

< I spotted that, too. You think maybe some ingredient quantities

didn't get multiplied out correctly? >


Grrr... Thanks for spotting that. The feast was 5 years ago and i

don't have the notes any more. I'm guessing those are the quantities

for one tart pan for 8 people, or 2 pans, and not 10 pans for 80.


I'll see if i can track down the original and solve this mystery SOON!


Plus, it is probably better to beat up only a couple pans worth at a

time, rather than the whole 4 doz+ eggs and 2 gal- milk in some

humungo vat.


Urtatim [that's err-tah-TEEM]

the persona formerly known as Anahita



Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 13:36:44 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Looking for a Roman sweet


Raffaella wrote:

<<< Some of my friends are putting together a Roman feast and they are

looking for one more recipe to round out the menu. They've already

got some savory biscuit/ cookies, but they are looking for small

sweet that could preferably be made in advance as well. >>>


Anne-Marie replied:

<<< Raffaella, do you have the Roman banquet Feudal GOurmet pamphlet?

theres some really nice desserts in there, including a honeyed date

thing that is to die for... >>>


I don't have the Roman Feudal Gourmet. But i suspect the date

suggestion is probably for Dulcia Domestica:



palmulas uel dactylos excepto semine, nuce uel nucleis uel pipere

trito infercies. sale foris contingis, frigis in melle cocto, et



Home-made Sweet

Fresh or dried dates seeds taken out, stuff with walnuts or pine nuts

or ground pepper. Roll in salt, fry in cooked honey, and serve.


Here is how I interpret the procedure:


Fill each pitted date with a walnut half or a couple pine nuts or a

little ground pepper... I'd suggest trying some with one kind of nuts

and a little pepper. Pepper was a huge luxury to the Romans.


Sprinkle dates with a little salt, or roll them in salt, depending on

how much. Might be good with one of those regional specialty salts.


Heat a relatively shallow layer of honey in a heavy pan until it

boils, then turn heat down.

Add dates in a single layer and cook in honey on low heat for about 5

to 10 minutes. I haven't made this recipe, but in my experiences,

cooking dates in honey for too long, well, the dates start to



Urtatim [that's err-tah-TEEM]

the persona formerly known as Anahita



Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 13:57:08 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Looking for a Roman sweet


Raphaella wrote:

<<< Some of my friends are putting together a Roman feast and they are looking

for one more recipe to round out the menu. They've already got some savory

biscuit/ cookies, but they are looking for small sweet that could

preferably be made in advance as well.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions, recipes or sources to

recommend. >>>


Here are some of the other desserts we made for the Greco-Roman

feast. The feast was for over 80 people. They weren't always perfect,

but i included notes for improvement. And let me add that Euriol

helped on this feast, as you will see noted below, and she was a

great help.


CONDITUM Paradoxum: Spiced Wine (White Grape Juice) Surprise



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 with

organization moneys. Therefore I substituted white grape juice,

spiked with Middle Eastern sour white grape juice so it wouldn't be

too cloying.


My Version:

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

1 tsp. Gum Mastic


1. Reconstitute juice.

2. Soak dates in a small amount of juice until soft.

3. When soft, put in blender with a bit more juice and blend until

pureed and liquidy.

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

5. Add seasonings and dates and cook on medium-low heat for a while,

until mastic melts.

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

NOTE: The mastic never completely dissolves (at least it didn't while

i did this), and some of it sticks to the bay leaves.

7. Let stand overnight.

8. Strain/decant. Some of the pepper settled out, and we

intentionally left it behind when we decanted the juice. I like the

bite it added but i was concerned diner might find it unexpected and


9. Serve.

10. Diluted to taste with water, if desired.



I really tried to find tejpat/malabathron leaves. There is a

significant South Asian community where i live and i went to South

Asian markets and asked for them. I was shown some leaves that looked

a lot like bay, and when i asked the proprietors they said that this

is what they use in the US and it tastes a lot like the original.

While I am not utterly convinced they taste the same, if that's what

they use here, that's what i used.


Perhaps pulverizing the mastic gum would have been better... or using

already powdered mastic.


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

disliked grape juice asked me for the recipe.







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]


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

it was expensive. Next time i will use homemade raisin juice, which

is what it tasted a lot like, and i will add add more.


My Version:

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 left out the cumin seeds at the feast.


This could have taken some additional sweetener besides the must.


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)]


My Version:


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.



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.


Urtatim [that's err-tah-TEEM]

the persona formerly known as Anahita



Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 17:11:45 -0500

From: "Mairi Ceilidh" <jjterlouw at earthlink.net>

To: "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Looking for a Roman sweet


<<< I don't have the Roman Feudal Gourmet. But i suspect the date

suggestion is probably for Dulcia Domestica:



palmulas uel dactylos excepto semine, nuce uel nucleis uel pipere

trito infercies. sale foris contingis, frigis in melle cocto, et



Home-made Sweet

Fresh or dried dates seeds taken out, stuff with walnuts or pine nuts

or ground pepper. Roll in salt, fry in cooked honey, and serve.



Urtatim [that's err-tah-TEEM] >>>


I have done this recipe, and it is WONDERFUL.  Making enough of the stuffed

dates is a bit tedious when preparing a feast for 150, but well worth the



Mairi Ceilidh


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org