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4709Re: [Apicius] First Roman Cookbooks to Purchase?

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  • lilinah@earthlink.net
    Dec 3, 2009
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      "jbd_29349" <goliathrix@...> wrote:
      > My first question is this: where can I find a good Roman cookbook.
      >Now my definition of a good Roman cookbook is this, will give you
      >substitutes for things that you can't find in even a "fancy" grocery
      >store. Also written by someone that has reproduced these dishes and
      >has applied modern cooking techniques and or terms. This one is a
      >bonus but not really necessary, dates for when these dishes were

      COIVINIX replied:
      >First and foremost, the admirable "practical" end of our
      >fellow-listmate Sally Grainger's new translation of APICIVS (done
      >with her husband, Christopher Groocock) COOKING APICIVS:
      >This is excellent scholarship yoked to practical cookery and
      >intelligent supposition. You will not do better--the only problem is
      >that it is SO SHORT. But perhaps Sally will find time to enlarge :>)

      Since i prefer to work up recipes myself, i'm more interested in:
      Christopher Grocock & Sally Grainger
      "Apicius: A critical edition with an introduction and an English translation"
      Prospect Books : Totnes, 2006.
      (includes the Latin)

      I also own Grainger's smaller booklet which has much useful info on
      her experiments in making garum/liquamen, and other ingredients. I
      bought both together for the special price.

      >An earlier effort (with another listmate, Andrew Dalby) is THE

      This is nice because of the historical information on the cultures
      and the photos of food oriented art, as well as the recipes.

      >Although it's aging, there is still much to like in Ilaria Gozzini
      >Giacosa's A TASTE OF ANCIENT ROME:

      A useful book for the culinarily cautious

      >And then there's Mark Grant's ROMAN COOKERY; a strong point of this
      >one is that it concentrates on more "every-day" food; a somewhat
      >weaker point is that, while the author is a very serious
      >scholar....the redactions he provides are a bit idiosyncratic at
      >times and (which is perhaps exactly what you are looking for?)
      >slanted to modern ease, rather than historical accuracy. But--read
      >with care--there is much here that is not covered elsewhere:

      It's interesting/useful because of Grant's non-Apician orientation.

      To sum up:


      1.) The most recent and currently best translation of the Apician cookbook:
      Christopher Grocock & Sally Grainger
      "Apicius: A critical edition with an introduction and an English translation"
      Prospect Books : Totnes, 2006.
      (includes the Latin)

      2.) The classic translation of the Apician cookbook before Grocock:
      Anonymous. Translated by Barbara Flower & Elizabeth Rosenbaum.
      "The Roman Cookery Book: a critical translation of The Art of Cooking by
      Peter Nevill, Ltd, London & New York, and George G. Harrap & Co.,
      Ltd., London : 1958.
      (includes the Latin)

      B. FOR BEGINNERS (in publication order)

      1.) Sally Grainger
      Cooking Apicius: Roman Recipes for Today
      Prospect Books : Totnes, 2006.

      2.) Andrew Dalby and Sally Grainger.
      "The Classical Cookbook".
      British Museum Press, London: revised edition 2000.

      3.) Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa. Translated by Anna Herklotz.
      "A Taste of Ancient Rome"
      University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London: 1992.


      Grant, Mark.
      "Roman Cookery: Ancient Recipes for Modern Kitchens"
      Serif: London: 1999.


      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.

      Faas utterly rejected as too strange a dish that was extremely
      popular at my feast, peaches with cumin and fish sauce. It was very

      E. NOT COOKBOOKS : but quite informative about food in culture:
      1.) Andrew Dalby.
      "Siren Feasts, A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece"
      Routledge, London & New York: 1996.

      2.) Andrew Dalby.
      "Empire of Pleasures, Luxury and Indulgence in the Roman World".
      Routledge, London & New York: 2000.

      3.) A book i haven't seen, but recommended by a friend:
      Emily Gowers.
      "The Loaded Table: Representations of Food in Roman Literature"
      Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York, 1997.
      My friend wrote:
      > This is more gastronomy and not cookery. It doesn't have recipes.

      TO AVOID
      1.) A book to avoid at all costs is the cheap and easy to find but
      highly inaccurate
      Joseph Dommers Vehling
      "Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome"
      Dover reprint, 1977, originally published 1936.
      Vehling used incomplete and inaccurate Latin editions, was not truly
      knowledgeable in Latin, and included many ingredients in his versions
      that were unknown in Europe before the 16th century CE. such as
      kidney beans and green/bell peppers.

      2.) I also do not like:
      John Edwards
      "The Roman Cookery of Apicius"
      Hartley and Marks : New York & Vancouver, 1984.
      I bought it for $1.99, which it may have been worth, just so i could
      have it for discussions... It isn't a full translation of Apicius,
      but has many translated recipes, some adapted to the modern kitchen
      with some unsupportable substitutions, such as butter for oil, and
      rosemary for rue, and canned salmon for liquamen!


      I am sorry, but i am not familiar with other translations not
      published in English.
      Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
      the persona formerly known as Anahita
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