Tuesday, 7 June 2005

An Ancient Roman Recipe

I am not sure if I should be telling you all not to try this at home. Our detailed accounts of what ancient Romans ate and how they ate it come from a man called Apicius, who wrote a famous cookbook. Here is one of his recipies:

Put in a mortar pepper, lovage and origan; pound, moisten with sauce, add cooked brains, pound thoroughly to dissolve lumps. Add five eggs and beat well to work all into a smooth paste. Blend with sauce, place in a metal pan and cook. When it is cooked turn out on a clean board and dice. Put in the mortar pepper, lovage and origan; pound, mix together; pour in sauce and wine, put in saucepan and bring to boil. When boiling crumble in pastry to thicken, stir vigorously and pour in the serving dish over the diced rissoles; sprinkle with pepper and serve."

Would anyone eat this today?

12 comments:

Daldianus said...

I think I ate just that a McDonald's yesterday! ;)

Kate said...

Don't know if I'd cook that but I made a tuna dish once from a Roman recipe and it was quite nice.

Presumably the 'sauce' is anchovy.

Hector said...

Depends on what type of brains its based on. Otherwise sounds pretty good!

Aginoth said...

I'm a re-enactor...I've eaten worse :o)

Alterior said...

I love all your responses - you have put a smile on my face this morning and this has not been a cheerful day, so thank you all!! :-)))))

Geoff Coupe said...

The Two Fat Ladies (Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright) did a recipe for Roman mustard, which was based on a recipe by Apicius. It's a pretty good coarse-grained mustard, so some of his recipes have stood the test of time!

Geoff Coupe said...

Oh, I've just remembered something I saw almost 20 years ago on children's TV here in The Netherlands.

It was someone demonstrating how one of the Roman dishes was made (I think at the time there was a restaurant in Amsterdam that specialised in recreating Roman dishes). It involved drowning white mice in red wine, leaving them to marinate for a while before fishing them out and skinning them. Dutch children must have been fascinated to see the presenter holding a terrified white mouse by the tail and lowering it into the wine. And then, in the best tradition of Blue Peter's "and here's one I made earlier" he reached over to another jar and fished out a drowned mouse and proceeded to skin it. Ah, Dutch TV - so unlike the home life of our own dear Queen!

Alterior said...

Yes, that sounds very different children's TV. The ancient roman dish you are refering to was amde with dormice by the way. Dormice were also soaked in honey and eaten for desert. I love the idea of the restaurant in Amsterdam that recreated Roman recipies. Does it not exist still?

Geoff Coupe said...

No, I don't think the restaurant is there anymore - I couldn't find it on Google, so I think it's gone the way of all flesh. Most restaurants don't have a particularly long life - fashion is too fickle...

Alterior said...

Ah, fashion....one of my pet hates... :-)))

Anonymous said...

ewwwwwwwwwwwwww no i think i will stick with my moms pasta thank u very much!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

wow that sound interesting............ no i wouldnt eat it