[Sca-cooks] roman feast / Apicius

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Fri Mar 21 06:29:24 PDT 2008

On Mar 20, 2008, at 9:04 PM, Lilinah wrote:
> G&G critique Vehling briefly on p. 122: "Vehling may have been an
> excellent chef but his understanding of ancient cooking was defective
> in many ways and - despite the effusive testimonial to his ability
> which prefaces his work - his Latin was, to say the least, extremely
> limited. [in a footnote here they say they agree with F&R's
> assessment]. Vehling's interpretation is hampered by a complete
> misunderstanding as to the nature of garum and liquimen" (Vehling
> assumed they were anchovy paste, not the salty liquid they are)... He
> was also imbued with classical French cooking and attempted to
> understand the recipes by relating them to dishes familiar to him
> from French cooking. This of course led him up a great many false
> avenues of conjecture." No specific example is given here, but IIRC,
> he uses roux - i don't own Vehling so i cannot check.


I also STR him advocating using choux paste (cream puff/eclair pastry)  
in his adapted recipe for exicia ex sphondyllix (scallop dumplings),  
while the original recipe seems to have called for soaked spelt grits.  
Which doesn't make it bad food -- it just makes it quenelles de  

> They also critique Flower and Rosenbaum, although more kindly, on pp.
> 122-123, saying they were limited because they were doing their work
> in a post-WWII British context and without the knowledge of
> Mediterranean cooking which "was to burst on the scene on the UK in
> the early 1960s under the influence of Elizabeth David. Flower and
> Rosenbaum were also somewhat in awe of Brandt and accepted his
> theories on the origin and date of the text without question." (p.
> 123)

I'm sure G&G's day will come, too; here's hoping the next person to  
come along is kind to them.


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