[Sca-cooks] Cato as a recipe source

Susanne Mayer susanne.mayer5 at chello.at
Wed Jul 15 14:02:44 PDT 2009

I do have a book called
Condimenta  (Spice plants in  cooking an baking recipes from the roman 
antique) roman kitchen plants I

3. edition ISBN: 3-929280-15-9

Güntner E. Thüry (u with dots, it will not be transcribed in the mail) & 
johannes walter
>From the University of Vienna, Institute of  Botany

Can translate the german version if wished, please send a mail
[75] Libum hoc modo facito. Casei P. II bene disterat in mortario. Ubi bene 
distriverit, farinae siligineae libram aut, si voles tenerius esse, selibram 
similaginis eodem indito permiscetoque cum caseo bene. Ovum unum addito et 
una permisceto bene. Inde panem facito, folia subdito, in foco caldo sub 
testu coquito leniter.
here the Libum cake is made with laurel as the leaves as this is the leaf 
given earlier in Cato (76, 3 and 121)

and they state  two other source for the usance of laurel leaves as *baking 

No honey, BUT Libum does just mean cake and did also mean sacrifical cake 
and there seems to be a libum in some text by ovid about religious 
celebartions containing honey.  So there is probably a version with honey 
also. And the web base recipes do seem to be the ones from trhe dalby book 
as I have the clear honey mentioned in this Libum recipe.
But the dalby book has two different Libum recipes so I think the one for 
the sweet honey version is actually the redaction for the  savillum and the 
savoury cake is the one for libum.

the Condimentim book also has a recipe for  savillum (cato 84)

[84] Savillum hoc modo facito. Farinae selibram, casei P. II S una 
conmisceto quasi libum, mellis P. * et ovum unum. Catinum fictile oleo 
unguito. Ubi omnia bene conmiscueris, in catinum indito, catinum testo 
operito. Videto ut bene percoquas medium, ubi altissimum erit. Ubi coctum 
erit, catinum eximito, papaver infriato, sub testum subde paulisper, postea 
eximito. Ita pone cum catillo et lingula.
THERE you have the honey but no leaves, the rest of the ingedients cheese, 
wheat flour and  egg is the same as for libum

The Dalby book also has a redaction for Placenta, but I have not tried that 

as to Globos

The A. Dalby and S. Grainger (German Title: Küchengeheimnisse der Antike) 
book recipe
makes them with milk and semolina (cook the milk add semolina, let stand) 
and then adds ricotta and rolls them in roasted sesame seeds.
I would not use this redaction.

I did use cream cheese of the *philiadelphia original* type and fresh 
farmers goat cheese of the same consistency or fresh curd cheese only
DW ad flumen caerulum

> Message: 1
> Date: Tue, 7 Jul 2009 12:47:21 -0700
> From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>
> Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cato as a recipe source
> To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
> Message-ID: <p06240801c67955fb3251@[]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed"
> Is either of those the source for the "Libum" recipe that one can
> find in various places on the web? The original is Cato, the
> "redaction" includes bay leaves (the original has "leaves") and honey
> (not in the original at all). Different webbed sources have the same
> redaction with the same wording ("1/2 c clear honey"), which makes me
> suspect a common secondary source.
> Anybody know if there is any basis for the honey? Does some other
> latin source say that libum was eaten soaked in honey?

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