Roses in wine, and violets too, have I got an ancient surprise for you!

From De Re Coquinaria I.III.4-5, 1st century  It is well known that the Romans flavored wines using a variety of ingredients, from honey and resin to salt and spices. (For a tasty example, see my previous blog post about Conditum.) But they also used flowers! This relatively unknown practice made for wines that not only smelled beautiful, […]

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Conditum: honey, spice, and everything nice

From De Re Coquinaria I.1, 1st century The recipe for conditum paradoxum opens one of the most famous cookbooks in history: De Re Coquinaria. The collection of recipes is linked to the bon-vivant and chef Apicius, who calls conditum ‘an excellent spiced wine’ – who am I do argue with that? The great thing about conditum is that it’s […]

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Feast on Cato’s placenta!

Before diving into the recipe, I have to set the record straight. What the hell is up with the name of this dish? Rest assured, in Roman times placenta didn’t have anywhere near the meaning it has today. In fact, the modern reference to the human organ only came about in 1559, when anatomist Renaldus […]

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Quote

Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826)

Cato Cakes

From De Agricultura (75-76), 2nd century BCE Cato the Elder (234-149 BCE) was a conservative Roman statesman known for his relentless lecturing about lost Roman values. Although this probably didn’t make him the most delightful dinner guest, his recipes are definitely worth putting on your table! Two of this curmudgeon’s recipes that I found especially intriguing […]

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Quote

La bonne cuisine est la base du véritable bonheur
Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935)

New Year, New Work!

My New Year’s resolutions? A new website, new photos and last but not least, a brand-new blog! Every Monday, I’ll lighten the start of the work week with a post about food & drinks. First is an artistic photography project about spices. Enjoy!

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