[Sca-cooks] roman feast

euriol euriol at ptd.net
Wed Mar 19 17:26:09 PDT 2008

This feast I think was back in 1995 or 1996, early in my SCA life and I was
just beginning my own education of period food. Of course the sources we
have available now far outshine what I had at my disposal back then. I was
amazed when I found the 3x5 cards with my notes written on these recipes.

I'm not sure why you claim peas barely period for the 16th century. I see
references that they date back to classical times in Greek, Rome & Egypt.
The Cambridge World History of Food states that peas were one of the first
foods to be domesticated and that they spread quickly to the Mediterreanean

As to the cream sauce... I feel I now was in error in using a roux base for
the sauce (again this was ignorance on my part for I had just begun to
learn about something other than modern cooking. At the time it "just made
sense" to me. However, I think both sources I had on hand clearly indicated
some type of milk... it was mostly the matter of how it was thickened. If I
remember correctly, Cariadoc & I spoke briefly together about this recipe
after the fact and he thought it might have been thickened with a wheat

As for the Pinenut custard vs. an omelet... It is amazing how two people
can interpret the same recipe differently. I just had this experience this
past weekend when a german recipe was interpretted as a mustard sauce by me
and as a pickle by another. Custards & Omelets can have both milk & eggs as
ingredients. The ratio seems to make the difference.

What I was trying to convey with the small menu I shared was that the
populace was really surprised that, for Roman food, it appealed to them.
Then again, it has always been my goal to show that period food doesn't
have to be strange or taste bad.

Side Note: I did make the Flower & Rosenbaum quick version of liquamen and
it was horrible smelling. I couldn't wait to get the pot out of the house
to let it cool. When we did the taste testing, each dish was seasoned with
the liquamen. However, for the sake of people with fish allergies, only the
red wine sauce was made with the liquamen for the feast.


On Wed, 19 Mar 2008 16:14:39 -0700, Lilinah <lilinah at earthlink.net> wrote:
> Euriol wrote:
>>The first feast I ever worked on I did a course of recipes based out of
>>Apicius. The most frequent comment I had was that the food seemed so
>>ordinary. If I recall the menu I did for the course it was:
>>Herbed Peas
>>Fried Carrots
>>Chicken in Cream Sauce over Pasta
>>Cucumber Salad
>>Red Snapper with Red Wine Sauce
>>Pinenut Custard
> Peas? Barely period for the 16th C.
> Cream Sauce? Hardly likely.
> Pinenut custard? That patina recipe is probably closer to an omelet,
> at least as i interpret it.
> Sounds like the recipes were based on Vehling's work, not the Apician
> cookbook itself (i don't call it "Apicius" since he clearly had
> nothing to do with it, and the use of his name was just a selling
> point).
> Of course when i served a period recipe for asparagus - actually
> based on several period recipes from the Apician cookbook (2nd C CE)
> to Platina (15th C) - some people complained that it was too
> ordinary. And i thought, c'mon, asparagus? To me it's always welcome
> and nummy, even if only tossed in olive oil and vinegar or lemon
> juice, as the recipes said. I added the recipe close to feast time
> when i found some at a fabulous price.
>>I would have to go back to my original redactions (Vehling and Rosenbaum
> &
>>Flowers were the only resources available to me at the time, Rosenbaum &
>>Flowers was on loan to me) and see if I would change any of them.
> That's Flower, not Flowers. I always have to stop myself from typing
> a final "s".
> --
> Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
> the persona formerly known as Anahita
> My LibraryThing
> http://www.librarything.com/catalog/lilinah
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