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Food and cooking are timeless and universal. Colanders and saucepans, strainers and skillets were used in Pompeii and pastry cutters were part of cooking equipment in Gaul in 200 A.D. Read more about Roman Cooking Methods at KET and two fascinating books Around the Roman Table: Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome by Patrick Faas, published by Palgrave MacMillan (1994), and A Taste of Ancient Rome by Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa, Anna Herklotz (Translator), published by University of Chicago Press (1994).

Also, be sure to read Hillary Cool's. Eating and Drinking in Roman Britain. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2006. And Sally Grainger's Cooking Apicus: Roman Recipes for Today. published by UK Prospect Books, 2006. Both of these authors gave very informative lectures to our group in Pompeii.


Get 1,000 Larks...
in Latin

Aladärum M cape.
Linguäs exsecxa et sepone.
Alaudäs abice.
Lingäs mitte in sartaginem cum paulö olei et frige cito.
Eäs traice ad patellam calida.
Quattuor sufficit.

in English

Get 1,000 larks.
Remove their tongues and set aside.
Discard the larks
Put the tongues in a pan with a little oil and saute quickly.
Transfer to a hot platter.
Serves four.

     

Cucumber Salad

  • 1 cucumber
  • 50g pennyroyal or fresh mint
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbl vinegar
  • 1 small clove crushed garlic and a pinch of asafoetida

Peel, slice, and salt the cucmber. Mix together the dressing ingredients, pour over the cucumber and serve.

Leeks with Olives

  • 100 ml water
  • 100 ml oil
  • 1 large leek, trimmed, washed, sliced into rings
  • 200g green olives
  • 100 ml strong white wine
  • garum or salt

Bring the water and oil to the boil in a saucepan, put in the leek and let it stew. Stone the olives and chop roughtly into quarters then add them to the leek when the water has evaporated. Leave to stew in the oil. Remove the olives and leek from the oil and place in a heated serving dish. Stir in the wine and garum or salt and serve.

Cumin Sauce for Cabbage, Carrots or Parsnips

  • 1/2 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 3 glasses old red wine
  • 1 tsp lovage seed
  • 1 tsp rue seed
  • 1 tsp coriander seed
  • 1 Tbs chopped mint

Crush the spices and soak in wine for a day. Strain the liquid, and reduce it to 2/3 volume over low heat, without boiling. Add parboiled parsnips or carrot or cabbage and cook until tender. Serve.

Around the Roman TableThe vegetable recipes are from Around the Roman Table by Patrick Faas, p224-228.Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 0-312-23958-0

excerpts from the book reviews: There are many misconceptions about the food of ancient Rome that Faas sets out to correct. The result is half cookbook, half history book and is entirely fascinating to both chef and antiquarian alike. . . . . To read Mr. Faas book is a pleasure, to put it to use requires a certain spirit.

Craving dolphin meatballs? Can't find a reliable restaurant for boiled parrot? Have a hankering for jellyfish omelettes, sows' wombs in brine, sheep's brain pate, or stuffed mice? Look no further than Around the Roman Table, a unique hybrid cookbook and history lesson. A portrait of Roman society from the vantage point of the dining table, kitchen, and market stalls, Around the Roman Table offers both an account of Roman eating customs and 150 recipes reconstructed for the modern cook.

A Taste of Ancient RomeBook Review excerpts:

The 200 recipes here for such representative selections as seasoned mussels and duck in prune sauce are offered in their original Latin and in English; The dozens of line drawings of ancient foodstuffs and color plates of Pompeian taverns and food shops complete this culinary portrait. Useful for food historians, a treat for food buffs, the book takes a welcome new look at the origins of a familiar cuisine.


One of the most popular sauces in Roman cuisine was garum, a salty, aromatic, fish-based sauce. Pompeii was notable for the quality of the garum it produced. Read more about garum from one of our Pompeii Food and Drink Project leaders, Robert Curtis. There, you will also find ancient and modern recipes for this delicacy..
Sardine for Garum
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