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Recipe of the Week May 2011

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  • The Henson's
    I hope the New Year found you all hale and hearty. This month our recipes come from De obseruatione ciborum or On the Observance of Foods by Anthimus. I have
    Message 1 of 1 , May 5 3:02 PM
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      I hope the New Year found you all hale and hearty.

      This month our recipes come from De obseruatione ciborum or On the
      Observance of Foods by Anthimus. I have only recently had this work
      come into my hands, via inter-library loan, and am enjoying it
      immensely. It had always hovered on the edge of my experience, being
      referenced numerous places, but I had always imagined it as a few
      recipes hidden in the depths of another document. (Hey, what can I say,
      I suffer from an American public school education and never studied
      Classics.) What a treasure!
      This work is not a cookbook proper, but rather more on the lines of
      a manual on proper diet. Many of the ninety-four items, however,
      contain directions for cooking ranging from simple suggestions for
      seasonings to more explicit and detailed (at least for period sources)
      directions.
      Grant dates the work between 511 and 526 CE, although others date
      it earlier or later. It seems to have been written in Northern Gaul and
      while based on Roman and Greek sources, there are a number of references
      to items specifically of Gaul and Anthimus notes some specific lacks at
      the Gaulish table.
      The translations presented here come from the book by Mark Grant
      published by Prospect Books in 1996. Besides the original Latin and the
      English Translation. Grant provides an overview of the times, the region
      and supporting source material.


      Fruit Salad anyone? Note the extensive commentary on the effect of
      melons on the system.

      If melons are will ripened, their flesh is particularly recommended
      mixed with their own seeds, and this is better than if they are eaten on
      their own. If, as people do, they are eaten like this with diluted
      vinegar and a sprinkling of pennyroyal, they are good for healthy
      people. For those who have problem of the kidneys or bladder, diluted
      vinegar is not suitable, because vinegar when plain is fairly injurious
      to the kidneys and bladder. And it not good for the liver.

      Good Cooking
      Rycheza
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