[Sca-cooks] roman feast

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Wed Mar 19 09:09:53 PDT 2008

cailte wrote:
>i am thinking of stretching my wings a bit and submitting
>a roman/saturnalia midwinter bid. yeah, i know.
>anyhoo, i know apicius, but can anyone direct me to some
>other research/writers/books?  or even best translations?

I did a 26-dish, 6-course Greco-Roman feast in 2003. Info, recipes, etc. at:

The references i used were:
Anonymous. Translated by Barbara Flower & Elizabeth Rosenbaum. 
Apicius, The Roman Cookery Book. Peter Nevill, Ltd, London & New 
York: 1958.
Until last year the best translation of the Apician cookbook.

Andrew Dalby. Siren Feasts, A History of Food and Gastronomy in 
Greece. Routledge, London & New York: 1996.
Information about food and feast in ancient Greece. No recipes.

Andrew Dalby. Empire of Pleasures, Luxury and Indulgence in the Roman 
World. Routledge, London & New York: 2000.
Information about food and feast in ancient Rome. No recipes.

Andrew Dalby. Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices. University of 
California Press, Berkeley & Los Angeles: 2000.
A great fun read. I used parts from Greek and Roman references Dalby 
quoted in my feast booklet.

Andrew Dalby and Sally Grainger. The Classical Cookbook. British 
Museum Press, London: revised edition 2000.
Both history, illustrations, and recipes, original and modern.

Patrick Faas. Translated by Shaun Whiteside. Around the Roman Table: 
Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome. Palgrave Macmillan, New York and 
Hampshire UK: 1994, 2003.
Useful information as well as original and modern recipes. He only 
gave the original for a Peach Patina, saying it was too weird to even 
attempt. I made this same dish with great success (had some amazing 
wonderful ripe peaches)

Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa. Translated by Anna Herklotz. A Taste of 
Ancient Rome. University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London: 1992.
Information and recipes, original and modern, from a wide variety of 
Roman sources. I'd recommend this for starters.

Grant, Mark. Roman Cookery: Ancient Recipes for Modern Kitchens. 
Serif: London: 1999.
Grant wanted to try to reconstruct what more ordinary people ate, so 
he avoided the Apician cookbook and used other sources. I'd also 
recommend this for starters.


Of course there's now an even better translation of Apicius, with a 
companion modern recipe book.

Christopher Grocock and Sally Grainger. Apicius: A Critical Edition 
with an Introduction and English Translation. Prospect Books. 2006.

Sally Grainger. Cooking Apicius: Roman Recipes for Today. Prospect Books. 2006.
with a selection of 64 recipes in original and modern format

Both books if bought together are still available from Prospect Books 
for *less* than the price of the big Apicius alone!

If one wants to go back to some works that are not cookbooks, one can 
plough through Cato, On Agriculture, and, IIRC, Pliny has food 
related information too.

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

My LibraryThing

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