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Cooking and Dining in Imperial Rome
by Apicius
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Continental nations, adhering to this important principle of cookery (inherited from Apicius) would not dream of using ready-made (English) sauces.

We have witnessed real crimes being perpetrated upon perfectly seasoned and delicately flavored entrees. We have watched ill-advised people maltreat good things, cooked to perfection, even before they tasted them, sprinkling them as a matter of habit, with quantities of salt and pepper, paprika, cayenne, daubing them with mustards of every variety or swamping them with one or several of the commercial sauce preparations. "Temperamental" chefs, men who know their art, usually explode at the sight of such wantonness. Which painter would care to see his canvas varnished with all the hues in the rainbow by a patron afflicted with such a taste?

Perhaps the craving for excessive flavoring is an olfactory delirium, a pathological case, as yet unfathomed like the excessive craving for liquor, and, being a problem for the medical fraternity, it is only of secondary importance to gastronomy.

To say that the Romans were afflicted on a national scale with a strange spice mania (as some interpreters want us to believe) would be equivalent to the assertion that all wine-growing nations were nations of drunkards. As a matter of fact, the reverse is the truth.

Apicius surely would be surprised at some things we enjoy. Voila, a recipe, "modern," not older than half a century, given by us in the Apician style or writing: Take liquamen, pepper, cayenne, eggs, lemon, olive oil, vinegar, white wine, anchovies, onions, tarragon, pickled cucumbers, parsley, chervil, hard-boiled eggs, capers, green peppers, mustard, chop, mix well, and serve.

Do you recognize it? This formula sounds as phantastic, as "weird" and as "vile" as any of the Apician concoctions, confusing even a well-trained cook because we stated neither the title of this preparation nor the mode of making it, nor did we name the ingredients in their proper sequence. This mystery was conceived with an illustrative purpose which will be explained later, which may and may not have to do with the mystery of Apicius. Consider, for a moment, this mysterious creation No. 2: Take bananas, oranges, cherries, flavored with bitter almonds, fresh pineapple, lettuce, fresh peaches, plums, figs, grapes, apples, nuts, cream cheese, olive oil, eggs, white wine, vinegar, cayenne, lemon, salt, white pepper, dry mustard, tarragon, rich sour cream, chop, mix, whip well.

Worse yet! Instead of having our appetite aroused the very perusal of this quasi-Apician mixtum compositum repels every desire to partake of it. We are justly tempted to condemn it as being utterly impossible. Yet every day hundreds of thousand portions of it are sold under the name of special fruit salad with mayonnaise mousseuse. The above mystery No. 1 is the justly popular tartar sauce.

Thus we could go on analyzing modern preparations and make them appear as outlandish things. Yet we relish them every day. The ingredients, obnoxious in great quantities, are employed with common sense. We are not mystified seeing them in print; they are usually given in clear logical order. This is not the style of Apicius, however.

LATIN CUNNING

We can hardly judge Apicius by what he has revealed but we rather should try to discover what he—purposely or otherwise—has concealed if we would get a good idea of the ancient kitchen. This thought occurred to us at the eleventh hour, after years of study of the text and after almost despairing of a plausible solution of its mysteries. And it seems surprising that Apicius has never been suspected before of withholding information essential to the successful practice of his rather hypothetical and empirical formulae. The more we scrutinize them, the more we become convinced that the author has omitted vital directions—same as we did purposely with the two modern examples above. Many of the Apician recipes are dry enumerations of ingredients supposed to belong to a given dish or sauce. It is well-known that in chemistry (cookery is but applied chemistry) the knowledge of the rules governing the quantities and the sequence of the ingredients, their manipulation, either separately or jointly, either successively or simultaneously, is a very important matter, and that violation or ignorance of the process may spell failure at any stage of the experiment. In the kitchen this is particularly true of baking and soup and sauce making, the most intricate of culinary operations.

There may have been two chief reasons for concealing necessary information. Apicius, or more likely the professional collectors of the recipes, may have considered technical elaboration of the formulae quite superfluous on the assumption that the formulae were for professional use only. Every good practitioner knows, with ingredients or components given, what manipulations are required, what effects are desired. Even in the absence of detailed specifications, the experienced practitioner will be able to divine correct proportions, by intuition. As a matter of fact, in cookery the mention in the right place of a single ingredient, like in poetry the right word, often suffices to conjure up before the gourmet's mental eye vistas of delight. Call it inspiration, association of ideas or what you please, a single word may often prove a guide, a savior.

Let us remember that in Apicii days paper (parchment, papyrus) and writing materials were expensive and that, moreover, the ability of correct logical and literary expression was necessarily limited in the case of a practising cook who, after all, must have been the collector of the Apician formulae. This is sufficiently proven by the lingua coquinaria, the vulgar Latin of our old work. In our opinion, the ancient author did not consider it worth his while to give anything but the most indispensable information in the tersest form. This he certainly did. A comparison of his literary performance with that of the artistic and accomplished writer of the Renaissance, Platina, will at once show up Apicius as a hard-working practical cook, a man who knew his business but who could not tell what he knew.

Like ever so many of his successors, he could not refrain from beginning and concluding many of his articles with such superfluities as "take this" and "And serve," etc., all of which shows him up as a genuine cook. These articles, written in the most laconic language possible—the language of a very busy, very harassed, very hurried man, are the literary product of a cook, or several of them.

The other chief motive for condensing or obscuring his text has a more subtle foundation. Indeed, we are surprised that we should possess so great a collection of recipes, representing to him who could use them certain commercial and social value. The preservation of Apicius seems entirely accidental. Experienced cooks were in demand in Apicii times; the valuation of their ministrations increased proportionately to the progress in gastronomy and to the prosperity of the nation. During Rome's frugal era, up to 200 B.C. the primitive cooks were just slaves and household chattels; but the development of their trade into an art, stimulated by foreign precepts, imported principally from Greece, Sicily and Asia Minor, opened up to the practitioners not only the door to freedom from servitude but it offered even positions of wealth with social and political standing, often arousing the envy, satire, criticism of bona-fide politicians, journalists, moralists, satirists and of the ever-present hordes of parasites and hangers-on. Some cooks became confidants, even friends and advisors of men in high places, emperors, (cf. life of Vitellius) and through their subtle influence upon the mighty they may have contributed in no mean measure to the fate of the nation. But such invisible string-pullers have not been confined to those days alone. (Take Rasputin! Take the valet to William I, reputed to have had more "say" than the mighty Bismarck, who, as it developed, got "the air" while the valet died in his berth.)

Such being the case, what potential power reposed in a greasy cookery manuscript! And, if so, why bare such wonderful secrets to Tom, Dick and Harry?

Weights and measures are given by Apicius in some instances. But just such figures can be used artfully to conceal a trap. Any mediocre cook, gaining possession of a choice collection of detailed and itemized recipes would have been placed in an enviable position. Experimenting for some time (at his master's expense) he would soon reach that perfection when he could demand a handsome compensation for his ministrations. Throughout antique times, throughout the middle ages down to the present day (when patent laws no longer protect a secret) strict secrecy was maintained around many useful and lucrative formulae, not only by cooks, but also by physicians, alchemists and the various scientists, artisans and craftsmen. Only the favorite apprentice would be made heir to or shareholder in this important stock in trade after his worthiness had been proven to his master's satisfaction, usually by the payment of a goodly sum of money—apprentice's pay. We remember reading in Lanciani (Rodolfo L.: Ancient Rome in the Light of Recent Discoveries) how in the entire history of Rome there is but one voice, that of a solitary, noble-minded physician, complaining about the secrecy that was being maintained by his colleagues as regards their science. To be sure, those fellows had every reason in the world for keeping quiet: so preposterous were their methods in most cases! This secrecy indeed must have carried with it a blessing in disguise. Professional reserve was not its object. The motive was purely commercial.

Seeing where the information given by Apicius is out of reason and unintelligible we are led to believe that such text is by no means to be taken very literally. On the contrary, it is quite probable that weights and measures are not correct: they are quite likely to be of an artful and studied unreliability. A secret private code is often employed, necessitating the elimination or transposition of certain words, figures or letters before the whole will become intelligible and useful. If by any chance an uninitiated hand should attempt to grasp such veiled directions, failure would be certain. We confess to have employed at an early stage of our own career this same strategy and time-honored camouflage to protect a precious lot of recipes. Promptly we lost this unctuous manuscript, as we feared we would; if not deciphered today, the book has long since been discarded as being a record of the ravings of a madman.

The advent of the printing press changed the situation. With Platina, ca. 1474, an avalanche of cookery literature started. The secrets of Scappi, "cuoco secreto" to the pope, were "scooped" by an enterprising Venetian printer in 1570. The guilds of French mustard makers and sauce cooks (precursors of modern food firms and manufacturers of ready-made condiments) were a powerful tribe of secret mongers in the middle ages. English gastronomic literature of the 16th, 17th and even the 18th century is crowded with "closets opened," "secrets let out" and other alluring titles purporting to regale the prospective reader with profitable and appetizing secrets of all sorts. Kitchen secrets became commercial articles.

These remarks should suffice to illustrate the assumption that the Apicius book was not created for publication but that it is a collection of abridged formulae for private use, a treasure chest as it were, of some cook, which after the demise of its owner, collector, originator, a curious world could not resist to play with, although but a few experienced masters held the key, being able to make use of the recipes.

MEAT DIET

In perusing Apicius only one or two instances of cruelty to animals have come to our attention (cf. recipes No. 140 and 259). Cruel methods of slaughter were common. Some of the dumb beasts that were to feed man and even had to contribute to his pleasures and enjoyment of life by giving up their own lives often were tortured in cruel, unspeakable ways. The belief existed that such methods might increase the quality, palatability and flavor of the meat. Such beliefs and methods may still be encountered on the highways and byways in Europe and Asia today. Since the topic, strictly speaking does not belong here, we cannot depict it in detail, and in passing make mention of it to refer students interested in the psychology of the ancients to such details as are found in the writings of Plutarch and other ancient writers during the early Christian era. It must be remembered, however, that such writers (including the irreproachable Plutarch) were advocates of vegetarianism. Some passages are inspired by true humane feeling, but much appears to be written in the interest of vegetarianism.

The ancients were not such confirmed meat eaters as the modern Western nations, merely because the meat supply was not so ample. Beef was scarce because of the shortage of large pastures. The cow was sacred, the ox furnished motive power, and, after its usefulness was gone, the muscular old brute had little attraction for the gourmet. Today lives a race of beef eaters. Our beef diet, no doubt is bound to change somewhat. Already the world's grazing grounds are steadily diminishing. The North American prairies are being parcelled off into small farms the working conditions of which make beef raising expensive. The South American pampas and a strip of coastal land in Australia now furnish the bulk of the world's beef supply. Perhaps Northern Asia still holds in store a large future supply of meat but this no doubt will be claimed by Asia. Already North America is acclimating the Lapland reindeer to offset the waning beef, to utilize its Northern wastes.

With the increasing shortage of beef, with the increasing facilities for raising chicken and pork, a reversion to Apician methods of cookery and diet is not only probably but actually seems inevitable. The ancient bill of fare and the ancient methods of cookery were entirely guided by the supply of raw materials—precisely like ours. They had no great food stores nor very efficient marketing and transportation systems, food cold storage. They knew, however, to take care of what there was. They were good managers.

Such atrocities as the willful destruction of huge quantities of food of every description on the one side and starving multitudes on the other as seen today never occurred in antiquity.

Many of the Apician dishes will not appeal to the beef eaters. It is worthy of note that much criticism was heaped upon Apicius some 200 years ago in England when beef eating became fashionable in that country. The art of Apicius requires practitioners of superior intellect. Indeed, it requires a superior clientele to appreciate Apician dishes. But practitioners that would pass the requirements of the Apician school are scarce in the kitchens of the beef eaters. We cannot blame meat eaters for rejecting the average chef d'{oe}uvre set before them by a mediocre cook who has learned little besides the roasting or broiling of meats. Once the average man has acquired a taste for the refined compositions made by a talented and experienced cook, say, a composition of meats, vegetables or cereals, properly "balanced" by that intuition that never fails the real artist, the fortunate diner will eventually curtail the preponderant meat diet. A glance at some Chinese and Japanese methods of cookery may perhaps convince us of the probability of these remarks.

Nothing is more perplexing and more alarming than a new dish, but we can see in a reversion to Apician cookery methods only a dietetic benefit accruing to this so-called white race of beef eaters.

Apicius certainly excels in the preparation of vegetable dishes (cf. his cabbage and asparagus) and in the utilization of parts of food materials that are today considered inferior, hardly worth preparing for the table except by the very careful and economical housekeeper. Properly prepared, many of these things are good, often more nutritious than the dearer cuts, and sometimes they are really delicious.

One has but to study the methods of ancient and intelligent people who have suffered for thousands of years under the perennial shortage of food supplies in order to understand and to appreciate Apician methods. Be it far from us to advocate their methods, or to wish upon us the conditions that engendered such methods; for such practices have been pounded into these people by dire necessity. They have graduated from the merciless school of hunger.

Food materials, we repeat, were never as cheap and as abundant as they are today. But who can say that they always will be so in the future?

SCIENCE CONFIRMING ANCIENT METHODS

We must not overlook the remarkable intuition displayed by the ancients in giving preference to foods with body- and blood-building properties. For instance, the use of liver, particularly fish liver already referred to. The correctness of their choice is now being confirmed by scientific re-discoveries. The young science of nutrition is important enough to an individual who would stimulate or preserve his health. But since constitutions are different, the most carefully conceived dietary may apply to one particular individual only, provided, however, that our present knowledge of nutrition be correct and final. This knowledge, as a matter of fact, is being revised and changed constantly.

If dietetics, therefore, were important enough to have any bearing at all upon the well-defined methods of cookery, we might go into detail analyzing ancient methods from that point of view. To call attention to the "economy," the stewardship, or craftsmanship, in ancient methods and to the truly remarkable intuition that guided the ancient cooks is more important. Without these qualities there can be no higher gastronomy. Without high gastronomy no high civilization is possible. The honest and experienced nutrition expert, though perhaps personally opposed to elaborate dining, will discover through close study of the ancient precepts interesting pre-scientific and well-balanced combinations and methods designed to jealously guard the vitamins and dietetic values in dishes that may appear curiously "new" to the layman that would nevertheless receive the unqualified approval of modern science.

We respect the efforts of modern dietitians and food reformers; but we are far removed from the so-called "simple" and "plain" foods advocated by some well-meaning individuals. With the progress of civilization we are farther and farther drifting away from it. Even barbaric and beastly food is not "simple."

This furtive "intuition" in cookery (in the absence of scientific facts because of the inability of cooks to transform empirical traditions into practical rules emanating from understood principles) still prevails today. It guides great chefs, saves time spent in scientific study.

The much criticized "unnatural union of sugar and meats" of the ancients still exists today in many popular examples of cookery: lamb and mint sauce, steak and catsup, mutton and currant jelly, pork and apples (in various forms), oyster cocktail, poultry and compote, goose with apple and raisin dressing, venison and Cumberland sauce, mince pie, plum pudding—typical survivals of ancient traditions. "Intuition" is still preceding exact science, and "unnatural unions" as in social, political and any other form of life, seem to be the rule rather than the exception.

DISGUISING FOODS

Apicius is often blamed for his endeavor to serve one thing under the guise of another. The reasons for such deceptions are various ones. Fashion dictated it. Cooks were not considered "clever" unless they could surprise guests with a commonplace food material so skillfully prepared that identification was difficult or impossible. Another reason was the absence of good refrigeration, making "masking" necessary. Also the ambition of hosts to serve a cheaper food for a more expensive one—veal for chicken, pork for partridge, and so on. But do we not indulge in the same "stunts" today? We either do it with the intention of deceiving or to "show off." Have we not "Mock Turtle Soup," Mouton a la Chasseur, mutton prepared to taste like venison, "chicken" salad made of veal or of rabbit? In Europe even today much of the traditional roast hare is caught in the alley, and it belongs to a feline species. "Roof hare."

FOOD ADULTERATIONS

There is positive evidence of downright frauds and vicious food adulteration in the times of Apicius. The old rascal himself is not above giving directions for rose wine without roses, or how to make a spoiled honey marketable, and other similar adulterations. Those of our readers with sensitive gastronomic instinct had better skip the paragraphs discussing the treatment of "birds with a goatish smell." But the old food adulterators are no match for their modern successors.

Too, some of our own shams are liable to misinterpretation. In centuries to come our own modern recipes for "Scotch Woodcock" or "Welsh rabbit" may be interpreted as attempts on our part to hoodwink guests by making game birds and rabbits out of cheese and bread, like Trimalchio's culinary artists are reputed to have made suckling pigs out of dough, partridges of veal, chicken of tunny fish, and vice versa. What indeed would a serious-minded research worker a thousand years hence if unfamiliar with our culinary practice and traditions make of such terms as pette de nonne as found in many old French cookery books, or of the famous suttelties (subtleties)—the confections once so popular at medieval weddings?

The ramifications of the lingua coquinaria in any country are manifold, and the culinary wonderland is full of pitfalls even for the experienced gourmet.

REACHING THE LIMIT

Like in all other branches of ancient endeavor, cookery had reached a state of perfection around the time of Apicius when the only chance for successful continuation of the art lay in the conquest of new fields, i.e., in expansion, generalization, elaboration and in influence from foreign sources. We have witnessed this in French cookery which for the last hundred years has successfully expanded and has virtually captured the civilized parts of the globe, subject however, always to regional and territorial modifications.

This desirable expansion of antique cookery did not take place. It was violently and rather suddenly checked principally by political and economic events during the centuries following Apicius, perhaps principally by the forces that caused the great migration (the very quest of food!). Suspension ensued instead. The heirs to the ancient culture were not yet ready for their marvelous heritage. Besides their cultural unpreparedness, the cookery of the ancients, like their humor, did not readily appeal to the "Nordic" heirs. Both are so subtle and they depend so much upon the psychology and the economic conditions of a people, and they thus presented almost unsurmountable obstacles to the invaders. Still lo! already in the fifth century, the Goth Vinithaharjis, started to collect the Apician precepts.

OUR PREDECESSORS

The usefulness in our days of Apicius as a practical cookery book has been questioned, but we leave this to our readers to decide after the perusal of this translation.

If not useful in the kitchen, if we cannot grasp its moral, what, then, is Apicius? Merely a curio?

The existing manuscripts cannot be bought; the old printed editions are highly priced by collectors, and they are rare. Still, the few persons able to read the messages therein cannot use them: they are not practitioners in cookery.

None of the Apician editors (except Danneil and the writer) were experienced practising gastronomers. Humelbergius, Lister, Bernhold were medical men. Two serious students, Schuch and Wuestemann, gave up academic positions to devote a year to the study of modern cookery in order to be able to interpret Apicius. These enthusiasts overlooked, however, two facts: Apicius cannot be understood by inquiring into modern average cookery methods, nor can complete mastery of cookery, practical as well as theoretical, including the historical and physiological aspects of gastronomy be acquired in one year. Richard Gollmer, another Apicius editor, declares that the results of this course in gastronomy were negative. We might add here that Schuch's edition of Apicius, apart from the unwarranted inclusion of the excerpta of Vinidarius is the least reliable of all editions.

Gollmer published a free version of Apicius in German in 1909. If he did not render the original very faithfully and literally, it must be said in all fairness that his methods of procedure were correct. Gollmer attempted to interpret the ancient text for the modern reader. Unfortunately he based his work upon that of Schuch and Wuestemann and Lister. A year or so later Eduard Danneil published a version of his own, also based on Schuch. This editor is a practising chef,—Hof-Traiteur or caterer to the court of one of the then reigning princes of Germany. Danneil's preface is dated 1897, though the date of publication is 1911. In view of the fact that Gollmer had covered the ground and that Danneil added nothing new to Apician lore, his publication seems superfluous. Danneil's translation differs in that the translator adhered literally to the questionable Schuch version whereas Gollmer aspired to a free and readable version for an educated public.

A comparison reveals that the one author is not a cook while the other is not a savant.

Like the scholars who tried their hand at cookery, there are a number of worthy and ambitious practitioners of cookery who have endeavored to reach the heights of scholarship, among them Careme and Soyer, men of great calibre. Unfortunately, the span of human life is short, the capacity of the human mind is limited. Fruitful achievements in widely different fields of endeavor by one man are rare. This is merely to illustrate the extreme difficulty encountered by anyone bent on a venturesome exploration of our subject and the very narrow chances of success to extricate himself with grace from the two-thousand year old labyrinth of philosophical, historical, linguistical and gastronomical technicalities.

This task will become comparatively easy, however, and surely interesting and with a foreboding of many delights and surprises if we penetrate the jungle aided by the experience of predecessors, steadfastly relying on the "theory of evolution" as a guide, and armed with the indispensable equipment for gastronomical research, i.e., the practical and technical knowledge of cookery, mastery of languages, augmented by practical experience gathered by observations and travel in many lands, and last but not least, if we are obsessed with the fixed idea that so menial a subject is worth all the bother.

We have purposely refrained from presenting here a treatise in the customary scientific style. We know, there are repetitions, digressions, excursions into adjacent fields that may be open to criticism. We really do not aim to make this critical review an exhibition of scholarly attainments with all the necessary brevity, clarity, scientific restraint and etiquette. Such style would be entirely out of our line. Any bookish flavor attaching itself to our work would soon replace a natural fragrance we aim to preserve, namely our close contact with the subject. Those interested in the scholarly work that has been contributed to this cause are referred to modern men like Vollmer, Giarratano, Brandt and others named in the bibliography. Of the older scientists there is Martinus Lister, a man whose knowledge of the subject is very respectable and whose devotion to it is unbounded, whose integrity as a scientist is above reproach. His notes and commentaries together with those of Humelbergius, the editor-physician of Zuerich, will be enjoyed and read with profit by every antiquary. The labors of Bernhold and Schuch are meritorious also, the work, time, and esprit these men have devoted to the subject is enormous. As for Torinus, the opinions are divided. Humelbergius ignores him, Gryphius pirates him, Lister scorns him, we like him. Lister praises his brother physician, Humelbergius: Doctus quidem vir et modestus! So he is! The notes by Humelbergius alone and his word: Nihil immutare ausi summus! entitles him to all the praise Lister can bestow. Unfortunately, the sources of his information are unknown.

Lacking these, we have of course no means of ascertaining whether he always lived up to his word that he is not privileged to change. Humelbergius and Lister may have made contributions of value from a philological point of view but their work appears to have less merit gastronomically than that of Torinus. To us the Basel editor often seems surprisingly correct in cases where the gastronomical character of a formula is in doubt.

In rendering the ancient text into English we, too, have endeavored to follow Humelbergii example; hence the almost literal translation of the originals before us, namely, Torinus, Humelbergius, Lister, Bernhold, Schuch and the latest, Giarratano-Vollmer which reached us in 1925 in time for collating. We have wavered often and long whether or not to place alongside this English version the original Latin text, but due to the divergencies we have finally abandoned the idea, for practical reasons alone.

In translating we have endeavored to clear up mysteries and errors; this interpretation is a work quite apart and independent of that of the translation. It is merely the sum and substance of our practical experience in gastronomy. It is not to be taken as an attempt to change the original but is presented in good faith, to be taken on its face value. This interpretation appears in the form of notes directly under each article, for quick reference and it is our wish that it be of some practical service in contributing to the general understanding and appreciation of our ancient book.

For the sake of expediency we have numbered and placed a title (in English) on each ancient recipe, following the example of Schuch. This procedure may be counted against us as a liberty taken with the text. The text has remained inviolate. We have merely aimed at a rational and legible presentation—work within the province and the duty of an editor-translator and technical expert.

We do not claim credit for any other work connected with the task of making this most unique book accessible to the English speaking public and for the competition for scholastic laurels we wish to stay hors de combat. We feel we are not privileged to pass final judgment upon the excellent work done by sympathetic and erudite admirers of our ancient book throughout the better part of four centuries, and we cannot side with one or the other in questions philological, historical, or of any other nature, except gastronomical. We are deeply indebted to all of our predecessors and through conversations and extensive correspondence with other modern researchers, Dr. Edward Brandt and Dr. Margaret B. Wilson, we are enabled to predict new developments in Apician research. The debates of the scientists, it appears, are not yet closed.

As a matter of fact, the various differences of opinion in minor questions are of little import to us as compared with the delightful fact that we here possess an Apicius, not only a genuine Roman, but an "honest-to-goodness" human being besides. A jolly fellow is Apicius with a basketful of happy messages for a hungry world. We therefore want to make this work of ours the entertainment and instruction the subject deserves to be. If we succeed in proving that Apicius is not a mummified, bone-dry classic but that he has "the goods," namely some real human merit we shall have accomplished more than the savants to whom this popularization of our hero has been denied so far.

After all, we live in a practical age, and it is the practical value, the matter-of-fact contribution to our happiness and well-being by the work of any man, ancient or modern, which counts in these days of materialism.

So let us tell the truth, and let us sum up in a few words:

We do not know who Apicius is. We do not know who wrote the book bearing his name. We do not know when it was written, or whether it is of Greek or of Roman origin. Furthermore, we do not understand many of its precepts!

We do know, however, that it is the oldest work dealing with the food and the cookery of the ancient world's greatest empire, and that, as such, it is of the utmost interest and importance to us.

In this sense we have endeavored to treat the book.

DINING IN APICIAN STYLE

Past attempts to dine a l'Apicius invariably have ended disastrously. Eager gourmets, ever on the look-out for something new, and curious scholars have attempted to prepare dishes in the manner prescribed by Apicius. Most of such experimenters have executed the old precepts literally, instead of trying to enter into their spirit.

"Das Land der Griechen mit der Seele suchen!" says Goethe. The friends of Apicius who failed to heed this advice, also failed to comprehend the precepts, they were cured of their curiosity, and blamed the master for their own shortcomings. Christina, queen of Sweden, was made ill by an attempt of this kind to regale her majesty with a rare Apician morsel while in Italy as the guest of some noble. But history is dark on this point. Here perhaps Apicius is blamed for a dastardly attempt on the royal lady's life for this daughter of the Protestant Gustavus Adolphus was in those days not the only crowned head in danger of being dispatched by means of some tempting morsel smilingly proffered by some titled rogue. A deadly dish under the disguise of "Apicius" must have been particularly convenient in those days for such sinister purposes. The sacred obligations imposed upon "barbarians" by the virtue of hospitality had been often forgotten by the super-refined hosts of the Renaissance.

But Apicius continued to prove unhealthful to a number of later amateurs. Lister, with his perfectly sincere endeavor to popularize Apicius, achieved precisely the opposite. The publication of his work in London, 1705, was the signal for a number of people, scholars and others, to crack jokes, not at the expense of Apicius, as they imagined, but to expose their own ignorance. Smollet, Dr. W. King ("Poor starving wit"—Swift), Dr. Hunter and others. More recently, a party of English dandies, chaperoned, if we remember correctly, by the ponderous George Augustus Sala, fared likewise badly in their attempt to stage a Roman feast, being under the impression that the days of Tiberius and the mid-Victorian era may be joined with impunity, a la minute, as it were.

Even later, in one of the (alas! not so many) good books on gastronomy, "Kettner's Book of the Table," London, 1877, the excellent author dismisses Roman cookery with a few lines of "warning." Kettner, admirer of Sala, evidently was still under the baneful influence. Twenty years later, Danneil, colleague of Kettner's, joined the chorus of "irreverent critics." They all based their judgment on mere idle conversation, resulting from disappointments in ill-fated attempts to cook in the Apician style. Even the best experts, it appears, fall victims to the mysterious spell surrounding, protecting things of sacred antiquity, hovering like an avenging angel over them, to ward off all "irreverent critics" and curious intruders.

THE PROOF OF THE PUDDING

After all, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. This homely solid wisdom is literally true of our good old Apicius. We have tested many of his precepts, and have found them practical, good, even delightful. A few, we will say, are of the rarest beauty and of consummate perfection in the realm of gastronomy, while some others again are totally unintelligible for reasons sufficiently explained. Always remembering Humelbergius, we have "laid off" of these torsos, recommending them to some more competent commentator. Many of the ancient formula tried have our unqualified gastronomic approval.

If our work has not differed from that of our predecessors, if it shows the same human frailties and foibles, we have at least one mark of distinction among the editors in that we have subjected the original to severe practical tests as much as this is possible with our modern food materials. We experienced difficulty in securing certain spices long out of use. Nevertheless, the experience of actually sampling Apician dishes and the sensation of dining in the manners of the Caesars are worth the trouble we took with Apicius. This is a feeling of partaking of an entirely new dish, met with both expectancy and with suspicion, accentuated by the hallowed traditions surrounding it which has rewarded us for the time and expense devoted to the subject. Ever since we have often dined in the classical fashion of the ancients who, after all, were but "folks" like ourselves.

If you care not for the carnal pleasures in Apician gastronomy—for gulam,—if you don't give a fig for philology, there still is something healthy, something infinitely soothing and comforting—"educational"—in the perusal of the old book and in similar records.

When we see Apicius, the famous "epicure" descending to the very level of a common food "fakir," giving directions for making Liburnian oil that has never seen that country....

When we note, with a gentle shudder, that the grafters of Naples, defying even the mighty Augustus, leveled the "White Earth Hill" near Puteoli because an admixture of plaster paris is exceedingly profitable to the milling profession....

When Apicius—celebrated glutton—resorts to the comparatively harmless "stunt" of keeping fresh vegetables green by boiling them in a copper kettle with soda....

When we behold hordes of ancient legislators, posing as dervishes of moderation, secretly and openly breaking the prohibition laws of their own making....

When we turn away from such familiar sights and, in a more jovial mood, heartily laugh at the jokes of that former mill slave, Plautus (who could not pay his bills) and when we wonder why his wise cracks sound so familiar we remember that we have heard their modern versions only yesterday at the Tivoli on State Street....

When, finally, in the company of our respected Horatius we hear him say in the slang of his day: Ab ovo usque ad mala, and compare this bright saying with our own dear "From Soup to Nuts."...

Then we arrive at the comforting conclusion that we moderns are either very ancient and backward or that indeed the ancients are very modern and progressive; and it is our only regret that we cannot decide this perplexing situation to our lasting satisfaction.

Very true, there may be nothing new under the sun, yet nature goes on eternally fashioning new things from old materials. Eternally demolishing old models in a manner of an economical sculptor, nature uses the same old clay to create new specimens. Sometimes nature slightly alters the patterns, discarding what is unfit for her momentary enigmatic purposes, retaining and favoring that which pleases her whimsical fancy for the time being.

Cookery deals exclusively with nature's works. Books on cookery are essentially books on nature's actions and reactions.

In the perpetual search for perfection, life has accomplished one remarkable thing: the development of man, the animal which cooks. Gradually nature has revealed herself to man principally through the food he takes, cooks and prepares for the enjoyment of himself and his fellow men.

THE COOKING ANIMAL

The gastronomer is the highest development of the cooking animal.

He—artist, philosopher, metaphysician, religionist—stands with his head bared before nature: overawed, contemplating her gifts, feasting his eyes on beauteous forms and colors, inhaling intoxicating fragrances, aromas, odors, matching them all artistically, partaking only of what he needs for his own subsistence—eternally marveling at nature's inexhaustible resources and inventiveness, at her everlasting bounty born of everlasting fierce struggles.

The gastronomer is grateful for the privilege of holding the custodianship of such precious things, and he guards it like an office of a sacred rite—ever gratefully, reverently adoring, cherishing the things before him ... ever marveling ... ever alone, alone with nature.

As for the overwhelming majority of the cooking animals, they behave much more "naturally." They are a merry crowd, ever anticipating a good time, ever jolly, eager, greedy. Or, they are cranky, hungry, starved, miserable, and they turn savage now and then. Some are gluttonous. Many contract indigestion—nature's most subtle punishment.

If they were told that they must kill before they may cook—that might spoil the appetite and dinner joy of many a tender-hearted devourer of fellow-creatures.

Heaven forbid! Being real children of nature, and behaving naturally, nature likes them, and we, too, certainly are well pleased with the majority.

The only fly in the ointment of life is that we don't know what it is all about, and probably never will know.

PRO{OE}MII FINIS



{Illustration: TRIPOD FOR THE GREAT CRATER

Hildesheim Treasure}



THE RECIPES OF APICIUS AND THE EXCERPTS FROM APICIUS BY VINIDARIUS

ORIGINAL TRANSLATION FROM THE TEXTS OF TORINUS, HUMELBERGIUS, LISTER AND GIARRATANO-VOLLMER WITH NOTES AND COMMENTS



{Illustration: "DINNER GONG"

Heavy bronze disk and substantial "knocker" to signal slaves. Found in Pompeii. "Hurry, fellows, the cakes are piping hot!"—Plautus. Ntl. Mus., Naples, 78622; Field M., 24133.}



{Illustration: OVAL SERVICE DISH

With two decorated handles. Hildesheim Treas.}



THE TEN BOOKS OF APICIUS

I. THE CAREFUL EXPERIENCED COOK. II. MINCES. III. THE GARDENER. IV. MISCELLANEOUS DISHES. V. LEGUMES. VI. POULTRY. VII. FANCY DISHES. VIII. QUADRUPEDS. IX. SEA FOOD. X. FISH SAUCES. THE EXCERPTS OF VINIDARIUS.

[V. The Greek titles of the ten books point to a common Greek origin, indicating that Apicius is a collection of Greek monographs on various branches of cookery, specialization such as highly developed civilizations would produce. Both the literary style and the contents of the books point to different authors, as may be seen from the very repetitions of and similarities in subjects as in VI and VIII, and in IX and X. The absence of books on bread and cake baking, dessert cookery indicates that the present Apicius is not complete.]



BOOK I. THE CAREFUL EXPERIENCED COOK

Lib. I. Epimeles

CHAP. I. FINE SPICED WINE. HONEY REFRESHER FOR TRAVELERS. CHAP. II. ROMAN VERMOUTH. CHAP. III. ROSE WINE. VIOLET WINE. ROSE WINE WITHOUT ROSES. CHAP. IV. LIBURNIAN OIL. CHAP. V. TO CLARIFY MUDDY WINE. CHAP. VI. TO IMPROVE A BROTH WITH A BAD ODOR. CHAP. VII. TO KEEP MEATS FRESH WITHOUT SALT. TO KEEP COOKED SIDES OF PORK. CHAP. VIII. TO MAKE SALT MEATS SWEET. CHAP. IX. TO KEEP FRIED FISH. TO KEEP OYSTERS. CHAP. X. TO MAKE LASER GO A LONG WAY. CHAP. XI. TO MAKE HONEY CAKES LAST. TO MAKE SPOILED HONEY GOOD. TO TEST SPOILED HONEY. CHAP. XII. TO KEEP GRAPES. TO KEEP POMEGRANATES. TO KEEP QUINCES. TO PRESERVE FRESH FIGS. TO KEEP CITRON. TO KEEP MULBERRIES. TO KEEP POT HERBS. TO PRESERVE SORREL. TO KEEP TRUFFLES. TO KEEP HARD-SKINNED PEACHES. CHAP. XIII. SPICED SALTS FOR MANY ILLS. CHAP. XIV. TO KEEP GREEN OLIVES. CHAP. XV. CUMIN SAUCE FOR SHELLFISH. ANOTHER. CHAP. XVI. LASER FLAVOR. ANOTHER. CHAP. XVII. WINE SAUCE FOR TRUFFLES. ANOTHER. CHAP. XVIII. OXYPORUM. CHAP. XIX. HYPOTRIMA. CHAP. XX. OXYGARUM, DIGESTIVE. ANOTHER. CHAP. XXI. MORTARIA.



I

[1] FINE SPICED WINE CONDITUM PARADOXUM

THE COMPOSITION OF [this] EXCELLENT SPICED WINE [is as follows]. INTO A COPPER BOWL PUT 6 SEXTARII [1] OF HONEY AND 2 SEXTARII OF WINE; HEAT ON A SLOW FIRE, CONSTANTLY STIRRING THE MIXTURE WITH A WHIP. AT THE BOILING POINT ADD A DASH OF COLD WINE, RETIRE FROM STOVE AND SKIM. REPEAT THIS TWICE OR THREE TIMES, LET IT REST TILL THE NEXT DAY, AND SKIM AGAIN. THEN ADD 4 OZS. OF CRUSHED PEPPER [2], 3 SCRUPLES OF MASTICH, A DRACHM EACH OF [nard or laurel] LEAVES AND SAFFRON, 5 DRACHMS OF ROASTED DATE STONES CRUSHED AND PREVIOUSLY SOAKED IN WINE TO SOFTEN THEM. WHEN THIS IS PROPERLY DONE ADD 18 SEXTARII OF LIGHT WINE. TO CLARIFY IT PERFECTLY, ADD [crushed] CHARCOAL [3] TWICE OR AS OFTEN AS NECESSARY WHICH WILL DRAW [the residue] TOGETHER [and carefully strain or filter through the charcoal].

[1] Sextarii. Tor. partes XV; G.-V. pondo XV; List. partes XV ... pondo lib.... qui continent sextarios sex. One sextarius (a "sixth") equals about 1-1/2 pint English.

[2] Pepper. Piperis uncias IV—ordinarily our black or white pepper grains, but in connection with honey, sweets, and so forth, the term "pepper" may just as well stand for our allspice, or even for any spicing in general.

[3] Charcoal. Still a favorite filterer for liquors.

List. Apicius is correct in starting his book with this formula, as all meals were started with this sort of mixed drink.

Tor. deviates from the other texts in that he elaborates on the cooking process.

[2] HONEY REFRESHER FOR TRAVELERS CONDITUM MELIZOMUM [1] VIATORIUM

THE WAYFARER'S HONEY REFRESHER (SO CALLED BECAUSE IT GIVES ENDURANCE AND STRENGTH TO PEDESTRIANS) [2] WITH WHICH TRAVELERS ARE REFRESHED BY THE WAYSIDE IS MADE IN THIS MANNER: FLAVOR HONEY WITH GROUND PEPPER AND SKIM. IN THE MOMENT OF SERVING PUT HONEY IN A CUP, AS MUCH AS IS DESIRED TO OBTAIN THE RIGHT DEGREE OF SWEETNESS, AND MIX SPICED WINE NOT MORE THAN A NEEDED QUANTITY; ALSO ADD SOME WINE TO THE SPICED HONEY TO FACILITATE ITS FLOW AND THE MIXING.

[1] Tor. Melirhomum; non extat. G.-V. M. perpetuum, i.e., having good keeping qualities.

[2] Tor. reads thus whereas others apply "endurance" to the honey itself. The honey could not be preserved (perpetuum) by the addition of pepper. Any addition, as a matter of fact, would hasten its deterioration unless the honey were boiled and sealed tight, which the original takes for granted.



II

[3] ROMAN VERMOUTH ABSINTHIUM ROMANUM [1]

ROMAN VERMOUTH [or Absinth] IS MADE THUS: ACCORDING TO THE RECIPE OF CAMERINUM [2] YOU NEED WORMWOOD FROM SANTO [3] FOR ROMAN VERMOUTH OR, AS A SUBSTITUTE, WORMWOOD FROM THE PONTUS [4] CLEANED AND CRUSHED, 1 THEBAN OUNCE [5] OF IT, 6 SCRUPLES OF MASTICH, 3 EACH OF [nard] LEAVES, COSTMARY [6] AND SAFFRON AND 18 QUARTS OF ANY KIND OF MILD WINE. [Filter cold] CHARCOAL IS NOT REQUIRED BECAUSE OF THE BITTERNESS.

[1] G.-V. Apsinthium.

[2] The mention of a name in a recipe is very infrequent. Camerinum is a town in Umbria.

[3] Now Saintonge, Southern France.

[4] Black Sea Region.

[5] Weight of indefinite volume, from Thebae, one of the several ancient cities by that name. List. thinks it is an Egyptian ounce, and that the author of the recipe must be an African.

[6] Wanting in Tor.; G.-V. costi scripulos senos.



III

[4] ROSE WINE [1] ROSATUM

MAKE ROSE WINE IN THIS MANNER: ROSE PETALS, THE LOWER WHITE PART REMOVED, SEWED INTO A LINEN BAG AND IMMERSED IN WINE FOR SEVEN DAYS. THEREUPON ADD A SACK OF NEW PETALS WHICH ALLOW TO DRAW FOR ANOTHER SEVEN DAYS. AGAIN REMOVE THE OLD PETALS AND REPLACE THEM BY FRESH ONES FOR ANOTHER WEEK; THEN STRAIN THE WINE THROUGH THE COLANDER. BEFORE SERVING, ADD HONEY SWEETENING TO TASTE. TAKE CARE THAT ONLY THE BEST PETALS FREE FROM DEW BE USED FOR SOAKING.

[1] Used principally as a laxative medicine. List. These wines compounded of roses and violets move the bowels strongly.

[5] VIOLET WINE VIOLATIUM

IN A SIMILAR WAY AS ABOVE LIKE THE ROSE WINE VIOLET WINE IS MADE OF FRESH VIOLETS, AND TEMPERED WITH HONEY, AS DIRECTED.

[6] ROSE WINE WITHOUT [1] ROSES ROSATUM SINE ROSA

ROSE WINE WITHOUT ROSES IS MADE IN THIS FASHION: A PALM LEAF BASKET FULL OF FRESH CITRUS LEAVES IS IMMERSED IN THE VAT OF NEW WINE BEFORE FERMENTATION HAS SET IN. AFTER FORTY DAYS RETIRE THE LEAVES, AND, AS OCCASION ARISES, SWEETEN THE WINE WITH HONEY, AND PASS IT UP FOR ROSE WINE.

[1] A substitute.



IV

[7] LIBURNIAN OIL OLEUM LIBURNICUM

IN ORDER TO MAKE AN OIL SIMILAR TO THE LIBURNIAN OIL PROCEED AS FOLLOWS: IN SPANISH OIL PUT [the following mixture of] ELECAMPANE, CYPRIAN RUSH AND GREEN LAUREL LEAVES THAT ARE NOT TOO OLD, ALL OF IT CRUSHED AND MACERATED AND REDUCED TO A FINE POWDER. SIFT THIS IN AND ADD FINELY GROUND SALT AND STIR INDUSTRIOUSLY FOR THREE DAYS OR MORE. THEN ALLOW TO SETTLE. EVERYBODY WILL TAKE THIS FOR LIBURNIAN OIL. [1]

[1] Like the above a flagrant case of food adulteration.



V

[8] TO CLARIFY MUDDY WINE VINUM EX ATRO CANDIDUM FACIES

PUT BEAN MEAL AND THE WHITES OF THREE EGGS IN A MIXING BOWL. MIX THOROUGHLY WITH A WHIP AND ADD TO THE WINE, STIRRING FOR A LONG TIME. THE NEXT DAY THE WINE WILL BE CLEAR [1]. ASHES OF VINES HAVE THE SAME EFFECT.

[1] Ex Lister whose version we prefer. He says, Alias die erit candidum while Tor. adds white salt, saying, sal si adieceris candidum, same as Tac. This is unusual, although the ancients have at times treated wine with sea water.



VI

[9] TO IMPROVE A BROTH [1] DE LIQUAMINE EMENDANDO [2]

IF BROTH HAS CONTRACTED A BAD ODOR, PLACE A VESSEL UPSIDE DOWN AND FUMIGATE IT WITH LAUREL AND CYPRESS AND BEFORE VENTILATING [3] IT, POUR THE BROTH IN THIS VESSEL. IF THIS DOES NOT HELP MATTERS [4] AND IF THE TASTE IS TOO PRONOUNCED, ADD HONEY AND FRESH SPIKENARD [5] TO IT; THAT WILL IMPROVE IT. ALSO NEW MUST SHOULD BE LIKEWISE EFFECTIVE [6].

[1] List. Liquamen, id est, garum. Goll. Fish sauce.

[2] Tor. Qui liquamen corruptum corrigatur.

[3] Dann. Ventilate it. Goll. Whip the sauce in fresh air.

[4] List., G.-V. si salsum fuerit—if this makes it too salty—Tor. si hoc nihil effecerit.

[5] Tor. novem spicam immittas; List. Move spica; Goll.-Dann. stir with a whip.

[6] A classic example of Apician confusion when one interpreter reads "s" for "f" and "novem" for "move" and another reads something else. Tor. is more correct than the others, but this formula is beyond redemption. Fate has decreed that ill-smelling broths shall be discarded.



VII

[10] TO KEEP MEATS FRESH WITHOUT SALT FOR ANY LENGTH OF TIME UT CARNES SINE SALE QUOVIS TEMPORE RECENTES SINT

COVER FRESH MEAT WITH HONEY, SUSPEND IT IN A VESSEL. USE AS NEEDED; IN WINTER IT WILL KEEP BUT IN SUMMER IT WILL LAST ONLY A FEW DAYS. COOKED MEAT MAY BE TREATED LIKEWISE.

[11] TO KEEP COOKED SIDES OF PORK OR BEEF OR TENDERLOINS CALLUM PORCINUM VEL BUBULUM ET UNGUELLAE COCTAE UT DIU DURENT

PLACE THEM IN A PICKLE OF MUSTARD, VINEGAR, SALT AND HONEY, COVERING MEAT ENTIRELY, AND WHEN READY TO USE YOU'LL BE SURPRISED.

V. Method still popular today for pickling raw meats. The originals treat of cooked meats (Tor. nucula elixa; G.-V. unguellae coctae; Tac. nucella cocta). Dispensing with the honey, we use more spices, whole pepper, cloves, bay leaves, also onions and root vegetables. Sometimes a little sugar and wine is added to this preparation which the French call marinade and the Germans Sauerbraten-Einlage.



VIII

[12] TO MAKE SALT MEAT SWEET UT CARNEM SALSAM DULCEM FACIAS

YOU CAN MAKE SALT MEATS SWEET BY FIRST BOILING THEM IN MILK AND THEN FINISHING THEM IN WATER.

V. Method still in practice today. Salt mackerel, finnan haddie, etc., are parboiled in milk prior to being boiled in water or broiled or fried.



IX

[13] TO KEEP FRIED FISH UT PISCES FRICTI DIU DURENT

IMMEDIATELY AFTER THEY ARE FRIED POUR HOT VINEGAR OVER THEM.

Dann. Exactly as we today with fried herring and river lamprey.

[14] TO KEEP OYSTERS OSTREA UT DIU DURENT

FUMIGATE A VINEGAR BARREL WITH PITCH [1], WASH IT OUT WITH VINEGAR AND STACK THE OYSTERS IN IT [2]

[1] Tor. vas ascernum, corrected on margin, ab aceto. List. vas ab aceto, which is correct. G.-V. lavas ab aceto; V. the oysters? unthinkable! Besides it would do no good.

[2] Goll. Take oysters out of the shell, place in vinegar barrel, sprinkle with laurel berries, fine salt, close tight. V. Goll's authority for this version is not found in our originals.

V. There is no way to keep live oysters fresh except in their natural habitat—salt water. Today we pack them in barrels, feed them with oatmeal, put weights on them—of no avail. The only way English oysters could have arrived fresh in Imperial Rome was in specially constructed bottoms of the galleys.



X

[15] MAKING A LITTLE LASER GO A LONG WAY UT NUCIA [1] LASERIS TOTO TEMPORE UTARIS

PUT THE LASER [2] IN A SPACIOUS GLASS VESSEL; IMMERSE ABOUT 20 PINE KERNELS [pignolia nuts]

IF YOU NEED LASER FLAVOR, TAKE SOME NUTS, CRUSH THEM; THEY WILL IMPART TO YOUR DISH AN ADMIRABLE FLAVOR. REPLACE THE USED NUTS WITH A LIKE NUMBER OF FRESH ONES [3]

[1] List. and G.-V. uncia—ounce. Making an ounce of laser go a long way. Tor. nucea; Tac. nucia. Lister, fond of hair-splitting, is irreconcilably opposed to Tor., and berates Caspar Barthius for defending Tor. List. Quam futilis sit in multis labor C. Barthii ut menda Torini passim sustineat, vel ex hoc loco intelligere licet: Et enim lege modo uncia pro nucea cum Humelbergio, & ista omnia glossemata vana sunt.

V. both readings, uncia or nucia are permissible, and make very little difference. We side with Tor. and Tac. because it takes more than an ounce of laser to carry out this experiment.

[2] Laser, laserpitium, cf. dictionary.

[3] V. This article illustrates how sparingly the ancients used the strong and pungent laser flavor [by some believed to be asa foetida] because it was very expensive, but principally because the Roman cooks worked economically and knew how to treat spices and flavors judiciously. This article alone should disperse for all time all stories of ancient Rome's extravagance in flavoring and seasoning dishes. It reminds of the methods used by European cooks to get the utmost use out of the expensive vanilla bean: they bury the bean in a can of powdered sugar. They will use the sugar only which has soon acquired a delicate vanilla perfume, and will replace the used sugar by a fresh supply. This is by far a superior method to using the often rank and adulterated "vanilla extract" readily bottled. It is more gastronomical and more economical. Most commercial extracts are synthetic, some injurious. To believe that any of them impart to the dishes the true flavor desired is of course ridiculous. The enormous consumption of such extracts however, is characteristic of our industrialized barbarism which is so utterly indifferent to the fine points in food. Today it is indeed hard for the public to obtain a real vanilla bean.

Cf. also notes regarding flavoring to Nos. 276-7, 345 and 385.



XI

[16] TO MAKE HONEY CAKES LAST UT DULCIA DE MELLE DIU DURENT

TO MAKE HONEY CAKES THAT WILL KEEP TAKE WHAT THE GREEKS CALL YEAST [1] AND MIX IT WITH THE FLOUR AND THE HONEY AT THE TIME WHEN MAKING THE COOKY DOUGH.

[1] Tor. and Tac. nechon; G.-V. cnecon; Dann. penion.

[17] SPOILED HONEY MADE GOOD UT MEL MALUM BONUM FACIAS

HOW BAD HONEY MAY BE TURNED INTO A SALEABLE ARTICLE IS TO MIX ONE PART OF THE SPOILED HONEY WITH TWO PARTS OF GOOD HONEY.

List. indigna fraus! V. We all agree with Lister that this is contemptible business. This casts another light on the ancients' methods of food adulteration.

[18] TO TEST SPOILED HONEY MEL CORRUPTUM UT PROBES

IMMERSE ELENCAMPANE IN HONEY AND LIGHT IT; IF GOOD, IT WILL BURN BRIGHTLY.



XII

[19] TO KEEP GRAPES UVAE UT DIU SERVENTUR

TAKE PERFECT GRAPES FROM THE VINES, PLACE THEM IN A VESSEL AND POUR RAIN WATER OVER THEM THAT HAS BEEN BOILED DOWN ONE THIRD OF ITS VOLUME. THE VESSEL MUST BE PITCHED AND SEALED WITH PLASTER, AND MUST BE KEPT IN A COOL PLACE TO WHICH THE SUN HAS NO ACCESS. TREATED IN THIS MANNER, THE GRAPES WILL BE FRESH WHENEVER YOU NEED THEM. YOU CAN ALSO SERVE THIS WATER AS HONEY MEAD TO THE SICK.

ALSO, IF YOU COVER THE GRAPES WITH BARLEY [bran] YOU WILL FIND THEM SOUND AND UNINJURED.

V. We keep grapes in cork shavings, bran and saw dust.

[20] TO KEEP POMEGRANATES UT MALA GRANATA DIU DURENT [1]

STEEP THEM INTO HOT [sea] WATER, TAKE THEM OUT IMMEDIATELY AND HANG THEM UP. [Tor.] THEY WILL KEEP.

[1] Tor. conditura malorum Punicorum; Tac. mala granata; G.-V. mala et mala granata.

[21] TO KEEP QUINCES UT MALA CYDONIA DIU SERVENTUR

PICK OUT PERFECT QUINCES WITH STEMS [1] AND LEAVES. PLACE THEM IN A VESSEL, POUR OVER HONEY AND DEFRUTUM [2] AND YOU'LL PRESERVE THEM FOR A LONG TIME [3].

[1] V. Excellent idea, for the stems, if removed, would leave a wound in the fruit for the air to penetrate and to start fermentation. Cf. also the next formula.

[2] G.-V. defritum, from defervitum; defrutum is new wine, spiced, boiled down to one half of its volume.

[3] This precept would not keep the fruit very long unless protected by a closefitting cover and sterilization. Cf. No. 24.

[22] TO PRESERVE FRESH FIGS, APPLES, PLUMS, PEARS AND CHERRIES FICUM RECENTEM, MALA, PRUNA, PIRA, CERASIA UT DIU SERVES

SELECT THEM ALL VERY CAREFULLY WITH THE STEMS ON [1] AND PLACE THEM IN HONEY SO THEY DO NOT TOUCH EACH OTHER.

[1] See the preceding formula.

[23] TO KEEP CITRON CITRIA UT DIU DURENT [1]

PLACE THEM IN A GLASS [2] VESSEL WHICH IS SEALED WITH PLASTER AND SUSPENDED.

[1] Tor. conditura malorum Medicorum quae et citria dicuntur. V. Not quite identified. Fruit coming from Asia Minor, Media or Persia, one of the many varieties of citrus fruit. Probably citron because of their size. Goll. Lemon-apples; Dann. lemons (oranges). List. Scilicet mala, quae Dioscorides Persica quoque & Medica, & citromala, Plinius item Assyria appellari dicit.

[2] G.-V. vas vitreum; Tac. and Tor. vas citrum; V. a glass vessel could not be successfully sealed with plaster paris, and the experiment would fail; cf. note 3 to No. 21.

[24] TO KEEP MULBERRIES MORA UT DIU DURENT

MULBERRIES, IN ORDER TO KEEP THEM, MUST BE LAID INTO THEIR OWN JUICE MIXED WITH NEW WINE [boiled down to one half] IN A GLASS VESSEL AND MUST BE WATCHED ALL THE TIME [so that they do not spoil].

V. This and the foregoing formulae illustrate the ancients' attempts at preserving foods, and they betray their ignorance of "processing" by heating them in hermetically sealed vessels, the principle of which was not discovered until 1810 by Appert which started the now gigantic industry of canning.

[25] TO KEEP POT HERBS [H]OLERA UT DIU SERVENTUR

PLACE SELECTED POT HERBS, NOT TOO MATURE, IN A PITCHED VESSEL.

[26] TO PRESERVE SORREL OR SOUR DOCK LAPAE [1] UT DIU SERVENTUR

TRIM AND CLEAN [the vegetable] PLACE THEM TOGETHER SPRINKLE MYRTLE BERRIES BETWEEN, COVER WITH HONEY AND VINEGAR.

ANOTHER WAY: PREPARE MUSTARD HONEY AND VINEGAR ALSO SALT AND COVER THEM WITH THE SAME.

[1] The kind of vegetable to be treated here has not been sufficiently identified. List. and G.-V. rapae—turnips—from rapus, seldom rapa,—a rape, turnip, navew. Tac. and Tor. Lapae (lapathum), kind of sorrel, monk's rhubarb, dock. Tor. explaining at length: conditura Rumicis quod lapathon Graeci, Latini Lapam quoque dicunt.

V. Tor. is correct, or nearly so. Turnips, in the first place, are not in need of any special method of preservation. They keep very well in a cool, well-ventilated place; in fact they would hardly keep very long if treated in the above manner. These directions are better applied to vegetables like dock or monk's rhubarb. Lister, taking Humelbergii word for it, accepts "turnips" as the only truth; but he has little occasion to assail Torinus as he does: Torinus lapam legit, & nullibi temeritatem suam atque inscientiam magis ostendit.

Now, if Torinus, according to Lister, "nowhere displays more nerve and ignorance" we can well afford to trust Torinus in cases such as this.

[27] TO KEEP TRUFFLES TUBERA UT DIU SERVENTUR

THE TRUFFLES WHICH MUST NOT BE TOUCHED BY WATER ARE PLACED ALTERNATELY IN DRY SAWDUST; SEAL THE VESSEL WITH PLASTER AND DEPOSIT IT IN A COOL PLACE.

Dann. Clean [peel] the truffles ... in another vessel place the peelings, seal the vessels.... V. this would be the ruin of the truffles, unless they were "processed" in the modern way. Our originals have nothing that would warrant this interpretation.

[28] TO KEEP HARD-SKINNED PEACHES DURACINA PERSICA UT DIU DURENT

SELECT THE BEST AND PUT THEM IN BRINE. THE NEXT DAY REMOVE THEM AND RINSING THEM CAREFULLY SET THEM IN PLACE IN A VESSEL, SPRINKLE WITH SALT AND SATURY AND IMMERSE IN VINEGAR.



XIII

[29] SALTS FOR MANY [ILLS] SALES CONDITOS AD MULTA

THESE SPICED SALTS ARE USED AGAINST INDIGESTION, TO MOVE THE BOWELS, AGAINST ALL ILLNESS, AGAINST PESTILENCE AS WELL AS FOR THE PREVENTION OF COLDS. THEY ARE VERY GENTLE INDEED AND MORE HEALTHFUL THAN YOU WOULD EXPECT. [Tor. MAKE THEM IN THIS MANNER]: 1 LB. OF COMMON SALT GROUND, 2 LBS. OF AMMONIAC SALT, GROUND [List. AND G.-V. 3 OZS. WHITE PEPPER, 2 OZS. GINGER] 1 OZ. [Tor. 1-1/2 OZ.] OF AMINEAN BRYONY, 1 OF THYME SEED AND 1 OF CELERY SEED [Tor. 1-1/2 OZ.] IF YOU DON'T WANT TO USE CELERY SEED TAKE INSTEAD 3 OZS. OF PARSLEY [SEED] 3 OZS. OF ORIGANY, 1 OZ. OF SAFFRON [List. and G.-V. ROCKET] 3 OZS. OF BLACK PEPPER [1] 1-1/2 OZS. ROCKET SEED, 2 OZS. OF MARJORAM [List. and G.-V. CRETAN HYSSOP] 2 OZS. OF NARD LEAVES, 2 OZS. OF PARSLEY [SEED] AND 2 OZS. OF ANISE SEED.

[1] In view of the white pepper as directed above, this seems superfluous. White pepper and ginger omitted by Tor.

This is one of the few medical formulae found in Apicius.

Edward Brandt, op. cit., Apiciana No. 29, points out the similarity of this formula with that of the physician, Marcellus, who lived at Rome under Nero, Marcell. med. 30, 51.



XIV

[30] TO KEEP GREEN OLIVES OLIVAS VIRIDES SERVARE

TO KEEP OLIVES, FRESH FROM THE TREE, IN A MANNER ENABLING YOU TO MAKE OIL FROM THEM ANY TIME YOU DESIRE JUST PLACE THEM [in brine]. [1] HAVING BEEN KEPT THUS FOR SOME TIME THE OLIVES MAY BE USED AS IF THEY HAD JUST COME OFF THE TREE FRESH IF YOU DESIRE TO MAKE GREEN OIL OF THEM.

[1] The original does not state the liquid in which the olives are to be placed.

Hum. in illud, legendum puto, in muriam.

Hum. is correct. Olives are preserved in brine to this day.

Schuch's version of this formula (his No. 27) follows our No. 28, together with his own No. 28, To Keep Damascene Plums [etc.] which is wanting in List., G.-V., and all the earlier editions because it is from the codex Salmasianus and will be found among the Excerpts of Vinidarius at the end of the Apician recipes.



XV

[CUMINATUM. Hum., List. and G.-V.—Tac. and Tor. at the end of Book I.]



XVI

[31] LASER FLAVOR LASERATUM

[Tor.] LASER IS PREPARED IN THIS MANNER: LASER (WHICH IS ALSO CALLED LASERPITIUM BY THE ROMANS, WHILE THE GREEKS CALL IT SILPHION) FROM CYRENE [1] OR FROM PARTHIA [2] IS DISSOLVED IN LUKEWARM MODERATELY ACID BROTH; OR PEPPER, PARSLEY, DRY MINT, LASER ROOT, HONEY, VINEGAR AND BROTH [are ground, compounded and dissolved together].

[1] Cyrene, a province in Africa, reputed for its fine flavored laser.

[2] Parthia, Asiatic country, still supplying asa f{oe}tida.

The African root furnishing laser was exterminated by the demand for it. Cf. Laser in Index.

[32] ANOTHER [LASER] ALITER

[ANOTHER LASER FLAVOR WHICH TAKES] PEPPER, CARAWAY, ANISE, PARSLEY, DRY MINT, THE LEAVES [1] OF SILPHIUM, MALOBATHRUM [2] INDIAN SPIKENARD, A LITTLE COSTMARY, HONEY, VINEGAR AND BROTH.

[1] Tor. Silphij folium; List. Sylphium, folium; G.-V. Silfi, folium, the latter two interpretations meaning silphium (laser) and leaves (either nard or bay leaves) while both Tor. and Tac. (silfii folium) mean the leaves of silphium plant.

[2] Malobathrum, malobatrum, malabathrum—leaves of an Indian tree, wild cinnamon.



XVII

[33] WINE SAUCE FOR TRUFFLES {OE}NOGARUM [1] IN TUBERA

PEPPER, LOVAGE, CORIANDER, RUE, BROTH, HONEY AND A LITTLE OIL.

ANOTHER WAY: THYME, SATURY, PEPPER, LOVAGE, HONEY, BROTH AND OIL.

[1] Also Elaeogarum.

V. Directions wanting whether the above ingredients are to be added to the already prepared garum, which see in dictionary. Gollmer gives the following direction for garum: Boil a sextarium of anchovies and 3 sextarii of good wine until it is thick puree. Strain this through a hair sieve and keep it in glass flask for future use. This formula, according to Goll. should have followed our No. 9; but we find no authority for it in the original.

Oenogarum proper would be a garum prepared with wine, but in this instance it is the broth in which the truffles were cooked that is to be flavored with the above ingredients. There is no need and no mention of garum proper. Thus prepared it might turn out to be a sensible sauce for truffles in the hands of a good practitioner.

Note the etymology of the word "garum," now serving as a generic name for "sauce" which originally stood for a compound of the fish garus.

Cf. Garum in index.



XVIII

[34] OXYPORUM OXYPORUM

[Tor. OXYPORUM (WHICH SIGNIFIES "EASY PASSAGE") SO NAMED BECAUSE OF ITS EFFECT, TAKES] 2 OZS. OF CUMIN, 1 OZ. OF GINGER [List. 1 OZ. OF GREEN RUE] 6 SCRUPLES OF SALTPETER, A DOZEN SCRUPLES OF PLUMP DATES, 1 OZ. OF PEPPER AND 11 [List. 9] OZS. OF HONEY. THE CUMIN MAY BE EITHER AETHIOPIAN, SYRIAN OR LYBIAN, MUST BE FIRST SOAKED IN VINEGAR, BOILED DOWN DRY AND POUNDED. AFTERWARDS ADD YOUR HONEY. THIS COMPOUND, AS NEEDED, IS USED AS OXYPORUM.

Cf. No. 111, A Harmless Salad.

Bran. op. cit., p. 25-6, of Greek origin.



XIX

[35] HYPOTRIMA [1] HYPOTRIMA

[Tor. HYPOTRIMA, MEANING IN LATIN A PERFECT MESS OF POTAGE, REQUIRES THIS]: PEPPER, LOVAGE, DRY MINT, PIGNOLIA NUTS, RAISINS, DATE WINE, SWEET CHEESE, HONEY, VINEGAR, BROTH, WINE, OIL, MUST OR REDUCED MUST [2]

[1] List. and G.-V. Hypotrimma.

V. This formula, lacking detailed instructions, is of course perfectly obscure, and it would be useless to debate over it.

[2] Tor. and Tac. cariotam; Sch. cariotum; List. and G.-V. car{oe}num. This (carenum) is new wine boiled down one half of its volume. Cariotum is a palm wine or date wine.



XX

[36] OXYGARUM, AN AID TO DIGESTION OXYGARUM DIGESTIBILE

[Tor. OXYGARUM (WHICH IS SIMILAR TO GARUM OR RATHER AN ACID SAUCE) IS DIGESTIBLE AND IS COMPOSED OF]: 1/2 OZ. OF PEPPER, 3 SCRUPLES OF GALLIC SILPHIUM, 6 SCRUPLES OF CARDAMOM, 6 OF CUMIN, 1 SCRUPLE OF LEAVES, 6 SCRUPLES OF DRY MINT. THESE [ingredients] ARE BROKEN SINGLY AND CRUSHED AND [made into a paste] BOUND BY HONEY. WHEN THIS WORK IS DONE [or whenever you desire] ADD BROTH AND VINEGAR [to taste].

Cf. Note to No. 33.

[37] ANOTHER [OXYGARUM] [1] ALITER

1 OZ. EACH OF PEPPER, PARSLEY, CARRAWAY, LOVAGE, MIX WITH HONEY. WHEN DONE ADD BROTH AND VINEGAR.

[1] Wanting in Torinus.



XXI

[38] MORTARIA [1] MORTARIA

MORTARIA ARE PREPARATIONS MADE IN THE MORTAR. PLACE IN THE MORTAR [Tor.] MINT, RUE, CORIANDER AND FENNEL, ALL FRESH AND GREEN AND CRUSH THEM FINE. LOVAGE, PEPPER, HONEY AND BROTH [2] AND VINEGAR [3] TO BE ADDED WHEN THE WORK IS DONE.

Ex Tor. first sentence wanting in other texts.

[1] List. and G.-V. moretaria, from moretum.

[2] Dann. calls this "Kalte Schale" which as a rule is a drink or a cold refreshing soup, popular on the Continent in hot weather. Not a bad interpretation if instead of the broth the original called for wine or fruit juices.

V. Mortaria are ingredients crushed in the mortar, ready to be used in several combinations, similar to the ground fine herbs, remoulade, in French cuisine that may be used for various purposes, principally for cold green sauces.

[3] Wanting in Tor.



[XV]

[39] CUMIN SAUCE FOR SHELLFISH CUMINATUM IN OSTREA ET CONCHYLIA

[Tor. CUMIN SAUCE (SO CALLED BECAUSE CUMIN IS ITS CHIEF INGREDIENT) FOR OYSTERS AND CLAMS IS MADE OF] PEPPER, LOVAGE, PARSLEY, DRY MINT, MALABAR LEAVES, QUITE SOME CUMIN, HONEY, VINEGAR, AND BROTH.

[40] ANOTHER [CUMIN SAUCE] [1] ALITER

PEPPER, LOVAGE, PARSLEY, DRY MINT, PLENTY OF CUMIN, HONEY, VINEGAR AND BROTH.

[1] wanting in List.

The cumin sauce formulae are under chap. XV in G.-V., following our No. 30.

END OF BOOK I

EXPLICIT APICII EPIMELES LIBER PRIMUS [Tac.]



{Illustration: COLANDER FOR STRAINING WINE

The intricate design of the perforation denotes that this strainer was used for straining wine. Various other strainers of simpler design, with and without handles, were used in the kitchen and bakery. Ntl. Mus., Naples, 77602; Field M., 24307.}



APICIUS

Book II



{Illustration: SLAVES OPERATING A HAND-MILL

Reconstruction in Naples, in the new section of the National Museum.}



{Illustration: FRUIT OR DESSERT BOWL

Round bowl, fluted symmetrically, with three claw feet, resting on molded bases. Ntl. Mus., Naples, 74000; Field M., 24028.}



BOOK II. MINCES

Lib. II. Sarcoptes [1]

CHAP. I. FORCEMEATS, SAUSAGE, MEAT PUDDINGS, MEAT LOAVES. CHAP. II. HYDROGARUM, SPELT PUDDING AND ROUX [2]. CHAP. III. SOW'S MATRIX, BLOOD SAUSAGE. CHAP. IV. LUCANIAN SAUSAGE. CHAP. V. SAUSAGE.

[1] Tor. Artoptes; Tac. Artoptus. This may have been derived from artopta—a vessel in which bread and pudding are baked. However, Sarcoptes is the better word, which is Greek, meaning "chopped meats."

[2] Tac. Ambolatum, and so in Tor. p. 15, De Ambolato. Cap. IIII. cf. our note following No. 58.



I

[41] MINCED DISHES ISICIA

THERE ARE MANY KINDS OF MINCED DISHES [1] SEAFOOD MINCES [2] ARE MADE OF SEA-ONION, OR SEA CRAB-FISH, LOBSTER, CUTTLE-FISH, INK FISH, SPINY LOBSTER, SCALLOPS AND OYSTERS [3]. THE FORCEMEAT IS SEASONED WITH LOVAGE [4], PEPPER, CUMIN AND LASER ROOT.

[1] Tor. Sentence wanting in other texts. V. Forcemeats, minced meats, sausage. Tor. Hysitia, from Isicia. This term is derived from insicium, from salsicium, from salsum insicium, cut salt meat; old French salcisse, saulcisse, modern French saucisse, meaning sausage. This is a confirmation of the meaning of the word salsum—meaning primarily salt meat, bacon in particular. It has survived in modern French terminology in sales more specially petits sales—small rashers of bacon. Salsum has caused much confusion in some later formulae. Cf. notes to Nos. 148, 150, 152.

[2] V. fish forcemeats, fish balls, fish cakes and similar preparations.

[3] Scallops and oysters wanting in List. and G.-V.

[4] Wanting in List.

[42] CUTTLE-FISH CROQUETTES ISICIA DE LOLLIGINE [1]

THE MEAT IS SEPARATED FROM BONES, SKIN [and refuse] CHOPPED FINE AND POUNDED IN THE MORTAR. SHAPE THE FORCEMEAT INTO NEAT CROQUETTES [2] AND COOK THEM IN LIQUAMEN [3].

THEY ARE DISPLAYED NICELY ON A LARGE DISH.

V. This formula plainly calls for fish balls braised or stewed in broth. Ordinarily we would boil the fish first and then separate the meat from the bones, shred or chop it fine, bind with cream sauce, flour and eggs; some add potatoes as a binder, and fry.

[1] G.-V. lolligine; Tor. loligine, which is correctly spelled.

[2] Tac. and Tor. in pulmento tundes. G.-V. fulmento which is wrong. Pulmentum, abbreviated for pulpamentum, from pulpa. It means a fleshy piece of fish or meat, a tid-bit.

[3] The original says in liquamine fricatur—fry in l., which is impossible in the sense of the word, frying. Either "frying" here stands for cooking, stewing, braising, poaching, or else the so mysterious liquamen must here mean deep fat. Most likely these fish forcemeat balls were fried in olive oil. Cf. {Rx} No. 46.

[43] LOBSTER OR CRABMEAT CROQUETTES ISICIA DE SCILLIS VEL DE CAMMARIS AMPLIS [1]

THE SHELLS OF THE LOBSTERS OR CRABS [which are cooked] ARE BROKEN, THE MEAT EXTRACTED FROM THE HEAD AND POUNDED IN THE MORTAR WITH PEPPER AND THE BEST KIND OF BROTH. THIS PULP [is shaped into neat little cakes which are fried] AND SERVED UP NICELY [2].

[1] Scilla or squilla, squill, sea-onion, also a crab, cammarus amplus, large lobster, langouste, spiny lobster.

[2] The original omits the mode of cooking the fish. A case where it is taken for granted that the shellfish is boiled in water alive. The broth (liquamen) is a thick fish sauce in this case, serving as a binder for the meat, conforming to present methods.

Dann. Fill this into sausage casing. There is no authority for this.

[44] LIVER KROMESKIS OMENTATA [1]

OMENTATA ARE MADE IN THIS MANNER: [lightly] FRY PORK LIVER, REMOVE SKIN AND SINEWS FIRST [2]. CRUSH PEPPER AND RUE IN A MORTAR WITH [a little] BROTH, THEN ADD THE LIVER, POUND AND MIX. THIS PULP SHAPE INTO SMALL SAUSAGE, WRAP EACH IN CAUL AND LAUREL LEAVES AND HANG THEM UP TO BE SMOKED. WHENEVER YOU WANT AND WHEN READY TO ENJOY THEM TAKE THEM OUT OF THE SMOKE, FRY THEM AGAIN, AND ADD GRAVY [3].

[1] From omentum—caul, the membrane enclosing the bowels. Hence "omen." Minced meats wrapped in caul and fried are kromeskis in kitchen terminology.

[2] First—an after thought so characteristic in culinary literature, proof enough that this formula originated in a kitchen. The ante tamen of the original belongs to this sentence, not to the next, as the editors have it.

[3] Wanting in G.-V. The original continues without interruption to the next, an entirely new formula.

[45] [BRAIN SAUSAGE] [ISICIA DE CEREBELLIS] [1]

PUT IN THE MORTAR PEPPER, LOVAGE AND ORIGANY, MOISTEN WITH BROTH AND RUB; ADD COOKED BRAINS AND MIX DILIGENTLY SO THAT THERE BE NO LUMPS. INCORPORATE FIVE EGGS AND CONTINUE MIXING WELL TO HAVE A GOOD FORCEMEAT WHICH YOU MAY THIN WITH BROTH. SPREAD THIS OUT IN A METAL PAN, COOK, AND WHEN COOKED [cold] UNMOULD IT ONTO A CLEAN TABLE. CUT INTO HANDY SIZE. [Now prepare a sauce] PUT IN THE MORTAR PEPPER, LOVAGE AND ORIGANY, CRUSH, MIX WITH BROTH PUT INTO A SAUCE PAN, BOIL, THICKEN AND STRAIN. HEAT THE PIECES OF BRAIN PUDDING IN THIS SAUCE THOROUGHLY, DISH THEM UP, SPRINKLED WITH PEPPER, IN A MUSHROOM DISH [2].

[1] The Original has no title for this dish.

[2] List. and G.-V. here start the next formula, but Tor. continues without interruption. Cf. Note 2 to No. 46.

[46] A DISH OF SCALLOPS ISICIA EX SPONDYLIS [1]

[Lightly] COOK SCALLOPS [or the firm part of oysters] REMOVE THE HARD AND OBJECTIONABLE PARTS, MINCE THE MEAT VERY FINE, MIX THIS WITH COOKED SPELT AND EGGS, SEASON WITH PEPPER, [shape into croquettes and wrap] IN CAUL, FRY, UNDERLAY A RICH FISH SAUCE AND SERVE AS A DELICIOUS ENTREE [2].

[1] Sch. sfondilis; G.-V. sphondylis; List. spongiolis. According to Lister, this is a dish of mushrooms, but he is wrong. He directs to remove sinews when mushrooms haven't any, but shellfish have. Torinus is correct. Gollmer makes the same mistake, believing spondyli to be identical with spongioli. He and Danneil take elixata for "choice" when this plainly means "cooked." If one were not sure of either word, the nature of the subject would leave no room for any doubt. Cf. note 1 to Nos. 115-121.

[2] We may find a reason for the combination of these last three distinctly different formulae into one article in the following explanation. It is possible that these dishes were served together as one course, even on one platter, thus constituting a single dish, as it were. Such a dish would strongly resemble platters of "fritures" and "fritto misto" (mixed fried foods) esteemed in France and Italy. We, too, have "Shore Dinners" and other "Combination Platters" with lobster, crabs, scallops, shrimps, mushrooms, tomatoes—each article prepared separately, but when served together will form an integral part of ONE dish.

The above formulae, though somewhat incomplete, are good and gastronomically correct. A combination of these isicia such as we here suggest would be entirely feasible and would in fact make a dish of great refinement, taxing the magiric artist's skill to the utmost. We would class them among the entremets chauds which are often used on a buffet table or as hot hors d'{oe}uvres.

[47] ANOTHER KIND OF KROMESKIS [1] ALITER ISICIA OMENTATA

FINELY CUT PULP [of pork] IS GROUND WITH THE HEARTS [2] OF WINTER WHEAT AND DILUTED WITH WINE. FLAVOR LIGHTLY WITH PEPPER AND BROTH AND IF YOU LIKE ADD A MODERATE QUANTITY OF [myrtle] BERRIES ALSO CRUSHED, AND AFTER YOU HAVE ADDED CRUSHED NUTS AND PEPPER [3] SHAPE THE FORCEMEAT INTO SMALL ROLLS, WRAP THESE IN CAUL, FRY, AND SERVE WITH WINE GRAVY.

[1] Wanting in Lister.

[2] Fine wheat flour, cream of wheat.

[3] Either pepper corns or allspice.

The original leaves us in doubt as to the kind of meat to be used, if any.



II

[48] DUMPLINGS OF PHEASANT ISICIA PLENA

[Lightly roast choice] FRESH PHEASANTS [cut them into dice and mix these with a] STIFF FORCEMEAT MADE OF THE FAT AND THE TRIMMINGS OF THE PHEASANT, SEASON WITH PEPPER, BROTH AND REDUCED WINE, SHAPE INTO CROQUETTES OR SPOON DUMPLINGS, AND POACH IN HYDROGARUM [water seasoned with garum, or even plain salt water].

[49] DUMPLINGS AND HYDROGARUM HYDROGARATA ISICIA

CRUSH PEPPER, LOVAGE AND JUST A SUSPICION OF PELLITORY, MOISTEN WITH STOCK AND WELL WATER, ALLOW IT TO DRAW, PLACE IT IN A SAUCE PAN, BOIL IT DOWN, AND STRAIN. POACH YOUR LITTLE DUMPLINGS OF FORCEMEAT IN THIS LIQUOR AND WHEN THEY ARE DONE SERVE IN A DISH FOR ISICIA, TO BE SIPPED AT THE TABLE.

[50] CHICKEN FORCEMEAT ISICIA DE PULLO

[Raw] CHICKEN MEAT, 1 LB. OF DARNEL [1] MEAL, ONE QUARTER PINT OF STOCK AND ONE HALF OUNCE OF PEPPER.

[1] Tor. lolae floris; Hum.-List. and G.-V. olei floris—virgin olive oil?—first choice flour? Goll. olive (violet?) flowers; Dann. Olive oil.

The suggestion of oil is plausible because of the lack of fat in chicken meat, but the quantity—1 lb.—is out of question. Moreover, the binder would be lacking. This is found in the Torinus rendering.

His lolae floris should read lolii—from lolium—darnel rye grass or ray grass which was supposed to have intoxicating qualities, injurious to the eye sight.—Ovid and Plautus. The seeds of this grass were supposed to possess narcotic properties but recent researches have cast doubt upon this theory.

A little butter, fresh cream and eggs are the proper ingredients for chicken forcemeat. Any kind of flour for binding the forcemeat would cheapen the dish. Yet some modern forcemeats (sausage) contain as much as fifty percent of some kind of meal. The most effective is that of the soya bean which is not starchy.

[51] CHICKEN BROTH ANOTHER STYLE ALITER DE PULLO

CHICKEN MEAT, 31 PEPPERCORNS CRUSHED, 1 CHOENIX [1] FULL OF THE VERY BEST STOCK, A LIKE AMOUNT OF BOILED MUST AND ELEVEN MEASURES [2] OF WATER. [Put this in a sauce pan] PLACE IT UPON THE FIRE TO SEETH AND EVAPORATE SLOWLY.

[1] V. 2 sextarii; Tor. ch{oe}nicem, cenlicem; List. calicem.

[2] ch{oe}nices?—left in doubt.

This seems to be a chicken broth, or essence for a sauce or perhaps a medicine. Torinus mentions the chicken meat, the others do not.

The original without interruption continues to describe the isicium simplex which has nothing to do with the above.

[52] PLAIN DUMPLING WITH BROTH ISICIUM SIMPLEX

TO 1 ACETABULUM [1] OF STOCK [2] ADD 7 OF WATER, A LITTLE GREEN CELERY, A LITTLE SPOONFUL OF GROUND PEPPER, AND BOIL THIS WITH THE SAUSAGE MEAT OR DUMPLINGS. IF YOU INTEND TAKING THIS TO MOVE THE BOWELS THE SEDIMENT SALTS [3] OF HYDROGARUM HAVE TO BE ADDED [4].

[1] A measure, 15 Attic drachms.

[2] liquamen.

[3] Tor. pectines, alias peces hydrogaro conditi; List. sales; G.-V. faeces.

[4] V. The formula is unintelligible, like No. 52 and others, perhaps just another example of medicinal cookery, dishes not only intended to nourish the body but to cure also certain ills. Authors like Hannah Wolley (The Queen-like Closet, London, 1675) and as late as the middle of the 18th century pride themselves in giving such quasi-Apician formulae.

[53] [Rank of] DISHES ISICIA

[Entrees of] PEACOCK OCCUPY THE FIRST RANK, PROVIDED THEY BE DRESSED IN SUCH MANNER THAT THE HARD AND TOUGH PARTS BE TENDER. THE SECOND PLACE [in the estimation of the Gourmets] HAVE DISHES MADE OF RABBIT [1] THIRD SPINY LOBSTER [2] FOURTH COMES CHICKEN AND FIFTH YOUNG PIG.

[1] List. and G.-V. Pheasant.

[2] Wanting in the above. Dann. Crane fourth.

Isicia, like in the foregoing formula, commences to become a generic term for "dishes."

[54] POTTED ENTREES ISICIA AMULATA AB AHENO [1]

GROUND PEPPER, LOVAGE, ORIGANY, VERY LITTLE SILPHIUM, A PINCH OF GINGER AND A TRIFLE OF HONEY AND A LITTLE STOCK. [Put on the fire, and when boiling] ADD THE ISICIA [sausage, meat balls and so forth] TO THIS BROTH AND COOK THOROUGHLY. FINALLY THICKEN THE GRAVY WITH ROUX [2] BY SOWING IT IN SLOWLY AND STIRRING FROM THE BOTTOM UP [3].

[1] Tor. multa ab alieno; Brandt [a]mul[a]ta ab aheno; List. amylata—French: lies. Ab aheno—out of the pot.

[2] French, for a mixture of wheat or rice flour with fats or liquids to thicken fluids. Amylum, or amulum which hereafter will occur frequently in the original does not cover the ground as well as the French term roux. The quality of the "binder" depends upon the material in hand. Sometimes the fat and flour are parched, sometimes they are used raw. Sometimes the flour is diluted with water and used in that form.

[3] List. and G.-V. sorbendum; Tor. subruendum.

[55] ANOTHER [THICK ENTREE GRAVY] ALITER

GRIND PEPPER WHICH HAS BEEN SOAKED OVERNIGHT, ADD SOME MORE STOCK AND WORK IT INTO A SMOOTH PASTE; THEREUPON ADD QUINCE-APPLE CIDER, BOILED DOWN ONE HALF, THAT IS WHICH HAS EVAPORATED IN THE HEAT OF THE SUN TO THE CONSISTENCY OF HONEY. IF THIS IS NOT AT HAND, ADD FIG WINE [1] CONCENTRATE WHICH THE ROMANS CALL "COLOR" [2]. NOW THICKEN THE GRAVY WITH ROUX OR WITH SOAKED RICE FLOUR AND FINISH IT ON A GENTLE FIRE.

[1] Tor. cammarum, which should read caricarum—wine of Carica figs.

[2] V. the Roman equivalent for "singe," "monkey," "Affe,"—(the vulgo French is literally translated into and in actual use in other languages) caramel color made of burnt sugar to give gravies a palatable appearance. Cf. No. 73.

The reference by the original to "which the Romans call 'color'" indicates, according to Brandt, that this formula is NOT of ROMAN origin but probably a translation into Latin from a Greek cookery book.

This is an interesting suggestion, and it could be elaborated on to say that the entire Apicius is NOT of Roman origin. But why should the Greeks who in their balmy days were so far in advance of Rome in culinary matters go there for such information?

It is more likely that this reference to Rome comes from the Italian provinces or the colonies, regions which naturally would look to Rome for guidance in such matters.

[56] ANOTHER AMULATUM AMULATUM ALITER

DISJOINT A CHICKEN AND BONE IT. PLACE THE PIECES IN A STEW PAN WITH LEEKS, DILL AND SALT [water or stock] WHEN WELL DONE ADD PEPPER AND CELERY SEED, THICKEN WITH RICE [1] ADD STOCK, A DASH OF RAISIN WINE OR MUST, STIR WELL, SERVE WITH THE ENTREES.

[1] G.-V. oryzam; Tor. ditto (and on margin) oridam; Hum. oridiam legendum orindam—a kind of bread. Dann. and Goll. rice flour.

In a general way the ancient formula corresponds exactly to our present chicken fricassee.

[57] SPELT OR FARINA PUDDING APOTHERMUM

BOIL SPELT WITH [Tor. PIGNOLIA] NUTS AND PEELED ALMONDS [1] [G.-V. AND] IMMERSED IN [boiling] WATER AND WASHED WITH WHITE CLAY SO THAT THEY APPEAR PERFECTLY WHITE, ADD RAISINS, [flavor with] CONDENSED WINE OR RAISIN WINE AND SERVE IT IN A ROUND DISH WITH CRUSHED [2] [nuts, fruit, bread or cake crumbs] SPRINKLED OVER IT [3].

[1] V. We peel almonds in the same manner; the white clay treatment is new to us.

G.-V. and—which is confusing.

[2] The original: confractum—crushed, but what? G.-V. pepper, for which there is neither authority nor reason. A wine sauce would go well with it or crushed fruit. List. and Goll. Breadcrumbs.

[3] This is a perfectly good pudding—one of the very few desserts in Apicius. With a little sweetening (supplied probably by the condensed wine) and some grated lemon for flavor it is quite acceptable as a dessert.

[58] DE AMBOLATO CAP. IIII

Ex Torinus, not mentioned by the other editors. The sense of this word is not clear. It must be a recipe or a chapter the existence of which was known to Torinus, for he says: "This entire chapter is wanting in our copy."



III

[59] A DISH OF SOW'S MATRIX VULVULAE BOTELLI [1]

ENTREES [2] OF SOW'S MATRIX [3] ARE MADE THUS: CRUSH PEPPER AND CUMIN WITH TWO SMALL HEADS OF LEEK, PEELED, ADD TO THIS PULP RUE, BROTH [and the sow's matrix or fresh pork] CHOP, [or crush in mortar very fine] THEN ADD TO THIS [forcemeat] INCORPORATING WELL PEPPER GRAINS AND [pine] NUTS [4] FILL THE CASING [5] AND BOIL IN WATER [with] OIL AND BROTH [for seasoning] AND A BUNCH OF LEEKS AND DILL.

[1] G.-V. Vulvulae Botelli; Sch. Vulvulae isiciata; Tor. De Vulvulis et botellis. See note No. 3.

[2] V. "Entrees" out of respect for the ancients who used them as such; today we would class such dishes among the "hors d'{oe}uvres chauds."

[3] V. Vulvula, dim. for vulva, sow's matrix. Cf. vulva in dictionary. Possible, also possible that volva is meant—a meat roll, a croquette.

[4] V. Combinations of chopped nuts and pork still in vogue today; we use the green pistachios.

[5] V. The casings which were filled with this forcemeat may have been the sow's matrices, also caul. The original is vague on the point.

[60] LITTLE SAUSAGE BOTELLUM [1]

BOTELLUM IS MADE OF [2] HARD BOILED YOLKS OF EGG [3] CHOPPED PIGNOLIA NUTS, ONION AND LEEKS, RAW GROUND PINE [4] FINE PEPPER, STUFF IN CASINGS AND COOK IN BROTH AND WINE [5].

[1] V. Botelli, or botuli, are sausage of various kind; (French, Boudin, English, Pudding). Originally made of raw blood, they are in fact, miniature blood sausage. The absence of meat in the present formula makes me believe that it is not complete, though hard boiled yolk when properly seasoned and mixed with the right amount of fat, make a tasty forcemeat for sausage.

[2] Tor. Botellum sic fades ex oui; Sch. and G.-V. sex ovi—the number of eggs is immaterial.

[3] Dann. Calf's Sweetbreads.

[4] Goll. Thus crudum—raw blood. Thus or tus is either frankincense or the herb, ground-pine. Dann. Rosemary. Hum. Thus crudum lege jus crudum—jus or broth which would make the forcemeat soft. There is no reason for changing "thus" into "jus!"

[5] G.-V. Adicies liquamen et vinum, et sic coques. Tor. & vino decoquas.



IV

[61] LUCANIAN SAUSAGE LUCANICAE

LUCANIAN SAUSAGE [or meat pudding] ARE MADE SIMILAR TO THE ABOVE: CRUSH PEPPER, CUMIN, SAVORY, RUE, PARSLEY, CONDIMENT, LAUREL BERRIES AND BROTH; MIX WITH FINELY CHOPPED [fresh Pork] AND POUND WELL WITH BROTH. TO THIS MIXTURE, BEING RICH, ADD WHOLE PEPPER AND NUTS. WHEN FILLING CASINGS CAREFULLY PUSH THE MEAT THROUGH. HANG SAUSAGE UP TO SMOKE.

V. Lister's interesting remarks about the makers of these sausages are given in the dictionary. Cf. Longano.



V

[62] SAUSAGE FARCIMINA

POUND EGGS AND BRAINS [eggs raw, brains cooked] PINE NUTS [chopped fine] PEPPER [whole] BROTH AND A LITTLE LASER WITH WHICH FILL THE CASINGS. FIRST PARBOIL THE SAUSAGE THEN FRY THEM AND SERVE.

V. The directions are vague enough, but one may recognize in them our modern brain sausage.

[63] ANOTHER SAUSAGE ALITER

WORK COOKED SPELT AND FINELY CHOPPED FRESH PORK TOGETHER, POUND IT WITH PEPPER, BROTH AND PIGNOLIA NUTS. FILL THE CASINGS, PARBOIL AND FRY WITH SALT, SERVE WITH MUSTARD, OR YOU MAY CUT THE SAUSAGE IN SLICES AND SERVE ON A ROUND DISH.

[64] ANOTHER SAUSAGE ALITER

WASH SPELT AND COOK IT WITH STOCK. CUT THE FAT OF THE INTESTINES OR BELLY VERY FINE WITH LEEKS. MIX THIS WITH CHOPPED BACON AND FINELY CHOPPED FRESH PORK. CRUSH PEPPER, LOVAGE AND THREE EGGS AND MIX ALL IN THE MORTAR WITH PIGNOLIA NUTS AND WHOLE PEPPER, ADD BROTH, FILL CASINGS. PARBOIL SAUSAGE, FRY LIGHTLY, OR SERVE THEM BOILED.

Tor. and Tac. Serve with pheasant gravy. In the early editions the following formula which thus ends is wanting.

[65] ROUND SAUSAGE CIRELLOS ISICIATOS

FILL THE CASINGS WITH THE BEST MATERIAL [forcemeat] SHAPE THE SAUSAGE INTO SMALL CIRCLES, SMOKE. WHEN THEY HAVE TAKEN ON (VERMILLION) COLOR FRY THEM LIGHTLY. DRESS NICELY GARNISHED ON A PHEASANT WINE GRAVY, FLAVORED, HOWEVER, WITH CUMIN.

V. In Tor. and in the earliest edition this formula has been contracted with the preceding and made one formula.

END OF BOOK II

EXPLICIT LIBER SECUNDUS APICII ARTOPTUS [Tac.]



APICIUS

Book III



{Illustration: ELABORATE THERMOSPODIUM

A heater for the service of hot foods and drinks in the dining room. Hot drinks were mixed and foods were served from apparatus of this kind. The fuel was charcoal. There were public places, specializing in hot drinks, called Thermopolia. This specimen was found at Stabiae, one of the ill-fated towns destroyed by eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Ntl. Mus., Naples, 72986; Field M., 24307.}



{Illustration: SERVICE PAN

Round, with decorated handle. This and the pan with the Hercules head on handle used in connection with the plain Thermospodium to serve hot foods in the dining room. Hildesheim Treas.}



BOOK III. THE GARDENER

Lib. III. Cepuros

CHAP. I. TO BOIL ALL VEGETABLES GREEN. CHAP. II. VEGETABLE DINNER, EASILY DIGESTED. CHAP. III. ASPARAGUS. CHAP. IV. PUMPKIN, SQUASH. CHAP. V. CITRUS FRUIT, CITRON. CHAP. VI. CUCUMBERS. CHAP. VII. MELON GOURD, MELON. CHAP. VIII. MALLOWS. CHAP. IX. YOUNG CABBAGE, SPROUTS, CAULIFLOWER. CHAP. X. LEEKS. CHAP. XI. BEETS. CHAP. XII. POT HERBS. CHAP. XIII. TURNIPS, NAVEWS. CHAP. XIV. HORSERADISH AND RADISHES. CHAP. XV. SOFT CABBAGE. CHAP. XVI. FIELD HERBS. CHAP. XVII. NETTLES. CHAP. XVIII. ENDIVE AND LETTUCE. CHAP. XIX. CARDOONS. CHAP. XX. COW-PARSNIPS. CHAP. XXI. CARROTS AND PARSNIPS.



I

[66] VEGETABLES, POT HERBS DE HOLERIBUS

TO KEEP ALL VEGETABLES GREEN. UT OMNE HOLUS SMARAGDINUM FIAT.

ALL VEGETABLES WILL REMAIN GREEN IF BOILED WITH COOKING SODA [1].

[1] Nitrium. Method still in use today, considered injurious to health if copper vessel is used, but the amount of copper actually absorbed by the vegetable is infinitesimal, imperceptible even by the taste. Copper, to be actually harmful would have to be present in such quantity as to make enjoyment impossible.



II

[67] VEGETABLE DINNER, EASILY DIGESTED PULMENTARIUM AD VENTREM [1]

ALL GREEN VEGETABLES ARE SUITED FOR THIS PURPOSE [2] VERY YOUNG [3] BEETS AND WELL MATURED LEEKS ARE PARBOILED; ARRANGE THEM IN A BAKING DISH, GRIND PEPPER AND CUMIN, ADD BROTH AND CONDENSED MUST, OR ANYTHING ELSE TO SWEETEN THEM A LITTLE, HEAT AND FINISH THEM ON A SLOW FIRE, AND SERVE.

[1] V. Ad ventrem, "for the belly," simple home laxative.

[2] V. This sentence in Torinus only. Possibly a contraction of the foregoing formula, No. 66.

[3] V. minutas, "small," i.e., young.

[68] A SIMILAR DISH SIMILITER

PARBOIL POLYPODY [1] ROOT SO AS TO SOFTEN THEM, CUT THEM INTO SMALL PIECES, SEASON WITH GROUND PEPPER AND CUMIN, ARRANGE IN A BAKING DISH, FINISH ON THE FIRE AND SERVE [2].

[1] V. Roots of the fern herb.

[2] V. Although these instructions for vegetable dinners are rather vague, they resemble primitive chartreuses—fancy vegetable dishes developed by the Carthusian monks to whom flesh eating was forbidden. Elsewhere in Apicius we shall find the chartreuse developed to a remarkable degree.

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