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Foods Tasted Different

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  • Allan Hunnicutt
    Someone once mentioned that nothing probably tasted even remotely the same back in Roman times, and so, he asked, what is the point of cooking anything from an
    Message 1 of 13 , Apr 8, 2007
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      Someone once mentioned that nothing probably tasted even remotely the same back in Roman times, and so, he asked, what is the point of cooking anything from an ancient Roman recipe? Anyone care to respond?



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    • Aurelia Rufinia
      Well, gosh, we don t have the same kinds of sheep as they did during the Empire, so we can t have the same kind of fabric, so why even bother making Roman
      Message 2 of 13 , Apr 8, 2007
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        Well, gosh, we don't have the same kinds of sheep as
        they did during the Empire, so we can't have the same
        kind of fabric, so why even bother making Roman
        clothing for re-enactments?

        I think that's a load of crap, personally. Even if
        things don't taste excately the same, we can still
        have siminal flavor blends. I made the stuffed dates
        from APicius a couple weeks ago, stuffed with ground
        black pepper. It's a bizaare combination, to be sure,
        dates with pepper, rolled in salt, and fried in honey.
        But it works, and it's not something I would have
        ever considered doing without trying this recipe.
        There's another one, with quince, boiled in honey and
        wine with a splash of garum. Agian, weird, (And both
        Giacosa and Faas say "Omit the garum" with the
        implcation that that's just yucky) but it WORKS.

        So what if it's not perfect? It's better than not
        trying at all.

        Rufinia

        --- Allan Hunnicutt <allanhunni@...> wrote:

        > Someone once mentioned that nothing probably tasted
        > even remotely the same back in Roman times, and so,
        > he asked, what is the point of cooking anything from
        > an ancient Roman recipe? Anyone care to respond?
        >
        >
        >
        >
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        > Copy addresses and emails from any email account to
        > Yahoo! Mail - quick, easy and free.
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        > [Non-text portions of this message have been
        > removed]
        >
        >




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      • J. May
        I agree that if you want to do historical re-creation you get to work with what s in front of you. (I ll just say it more calmly) ;) BTW- there are three sheep
        Message 3 of 13 , Apr 8, 2007
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          I agree that if you want to do historical re-creation you get to work with
          what's in front of you. (I'll just say it more calmly) ;)

          BTW- there are three sheep that have been bred since Roman times. Karakul,
          Merino and X- It'll come to me later.

          Samia

          -----Original Message-----
          I think that's a load of crap, personally. Even if
          things don't taste excately the same, we can still
          have siminal flavor blends. I made the stuffed dates
          from APicius a couple weeks ago, stuffed with ground
          black pepper. It's a bizaare combination, to be sure,
          dates with pepper, rolled in salt, and fried in honey.
          But it works, and it's not something I would have
          ever considered doing without trying this recipe.
          There's another one, with quince, boiled in honey and
          wine with a splash of garum. Agian, weird, (And both
          Giacosa and Faas say "Omit the garum" with the
          implcation that that's just yucky) but it WORKS.

          So what if it's not perfect? It's better than not
          trying at all.

          Rufinia
        • J. May
          I would believe that in our modern sanitized groceries, that buy painted fruit so it looks more edible, that s likely true. I have a hard time believing that
          Message 4 of 13 , Apr 8, 2007
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            I would believe that in our modern sanitized groceries, that buy painted
            fruit so it looks more edible, that's likely true. I have a hard time
            believing that the rest of our resources are so different. Since no one can
            win this argument though, I'll just leave it to the chemical and forensic
            scholars to tell me what is and isn't different.

            Samia

            -----Original Message-----
            Someone once mentioned that nothing probably tasted even remotely the same
            back in Roman times, and so, he asked, what is the point of cooking anything
            from an ancient Roman recipe? Anyone care to respond?
          • paul martinis
            Here Here! ... Tiberious Flavius Poulos,Centurio,LEGIIAVG ____________________________________________________________________________________ Need Mail
            Message 5 of 13 , Apr 8, 2007
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              Here Here!
              --- Aurelia Rufinia <aureliarufinia@...> wrote:

              > Well, gosh, we don't have the same kinds of sheep as
              > they did during the Empire, so we can't have the
              > same
              > kind of fabric, so why even bother making Roman
              > clothing for re-enactments?
              >
              > I think that's a load of crap, personally. Even if
              > things don't taste excately the same, we can still
              > have siminal flavor blends. I made the stuffed
              > dates
              > from APicius a couple weeks ago, stuffed with ground
              > black pepper. It's a bizaare combination, to be
              > sure,
              > dates with pepper, rolled in salt, and fried in
              > honey.
              > But it works, and it's not something I would have
              > ever considered doing without trying this recipe.
              > There's another one, with quince, boiled in honey
              > and
              > wine with a splash of garum. Agian, weird, (And
              > both
              > Giacosa and Faas say "Omit the garum" with the
              > implcation that that's just yucky) but it WORKS.
              >
              > So what if it's not perfect? It's better than not
              > trying at all.
              >
              > Rufinia
              >
              > --- Allan Hunnicutt <allanhunni@...> wrote:
              >
              > > Someone once mentioned that nothing probably
              > tasted
              > > even remotely the same back in Roman times, and
              > so,
              > > he asked, what is the point of cooking anything
              > from
              > > an ancient Roman recipe? Anyone care to respond?
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
              ___________________________________________________________
              > >
              > > Copy addresses and emails from any email account
              > to
              > > Yahoo! Mail - quick, easy and free.
              > > http://uk.docs.yahoo.com/trueswitch2.html
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been
              > > removed]
              > >
              > >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
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              Tiberious Flavius Poulos,Centurio,LEGIIAVG






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            • apollosfriend
              Having made quite a few Apician recipes, one thing that I have noticed is that the flavors have a fundamental sameness that is unusual to the modern palette.
              Message 6 of 13 , Apr 8, 2007
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                Having made quite a few Apician recipes, one thing that I have noticed
                is that the flavors have a fundamental sameness that is unusual to the
                modern palette. This leads me to the conclusion that I must be coming
                up with something that at least approximates the original recipe. In
                any case, the recipes tend to be good and for me it has become an
                enjoyable way to improve my diet and get back into cooking.

                Jim Kollens, Apollo's friend

                --- In Apicius@yahoogroups.com, Aurelia Rufinia <aureliarufinia@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Well, gosh, we don't have the same kinds of sheep as
                > they did during the Empire, so we can't have the same
                > kind of fabric, so why even bother making Roman
                > clothing for re-enactments?
                >
                > I think that's a load of crap, personally. Even if
                > things don't taste excately the same, we can still
                > have siminal flavor blends. I made the stuffed dates
                > from APicius a couple weeks ago, stuffed with ground
                > black pepper. It's a bizaare combination, to be sure,
                > dates with pepper, rolled in salt, and fried in honey.
                > But it works, and it's not something I would have
                > ever considered doing without trying this recipe.
                > There's another one, with quince, boiled in honey and
                > wine with a splash of garum. Agian, weird, (And both
                > Giacosa and Faas say "Omit the garum" with the
                > implcation that that's just yucky) but it WORKS.
                >
                > So what if it's not perfect? It's better than not
                > trying at all.
                >
                > Rufinia
                >
                > --- Allan Hunnicutt <allanhunni@...> wrote:
                >
                > > Someone once mentioned that nothing probably tasted
                > > even remotely the same back in Roman times, and so,
                > > he asked, what is the point of cooking anything from
                > > an ancient Roman recipe? Anyone care to respond?
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > ___________________________________________________________
                > >
                > > Copy addresses and emails from any email account to
                > > Yahoo! Mail - quick, easy and free.
                > > http://uk.docs.yahoo.com/trueswitch2.html
                > >
                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been
                > > removed]
                > >
                > >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                ____________________________________________________________________________________
                > 8:00? 8:25? 8:40? Find a flick in no time
                > with the Yahoo! Search movie showtime shortcut.
                > http://tools.search.yahoo.com/shortcuts/#news
                >
              • Lucia Clark
                What is the point to study History? They are all dead aren t they? It s not the TASTE of food we are searching for, which certainly varied from place to place,
                Message 7 of 13 , Apr 8, 2007
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                  What is the point to study History? They are all dead aren't they?
                  It's not the TASTE of food we are searching for, which certainly
                  varied from place to place, but the PROCESS, the philosophy of foods,
                  the spices, the evolution of what is considered good....Need I go on?
                  Lucia



                  At 03:07 PM 4/8/2007, you wrote:

                  >Someone once mentioned that nothing probably tasted even remotely
                  >the same back in Roman times, and so, he asked, what is the point of
                  >cooking anything from an ancient Roman recipe? Anyone care to respond?
                  >
                  >
                  >__________________________________________________________
                  >Copy addresses and emails from any email account to Yahoo! Mail -
                  >quick, easy and free.
                  ><http://uk.docs.yahoo.com/trueswitch2.html>http://uk.docs.yahoo.com/trueswitch2.html
                  >
                  >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >

                  ----------



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Lilinah
                  ... Since quantities are not usually give, to avoid having many sauces taste the same (since so many call for honey, vinegar, garum, pepper, and rue), i vary
                  Message 8 of 13 , Apr 8, 2007
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                    >Having made quite a few Apician recipes, one thing that I have noticed
                    >is that the flavors have a fundamental sameness that is unusual to the
                    >modern palette. This leads me to the conclusion that I must be coming
                    >up with something that at least approximates the original recipe. In
                    >any case, the recipes tend to be good and for me it has become an
                    >enjoyable way to improve my diet and get back into cooking.
                    >
                    >Jim Kollens, Apollo's friend

                    Since quantities are not usually give, to avoid having many sauces
                    taste the same (since so many call for honey, vinegar, garum, pepper,
                    and rue), i vary the proportions of the ingredients. I make some
                    sweeter, some more sour, etc.

                    Also, i don't use rue - i have no source for it - i live in an
                    upstairs city apartment. I know that it is bitter, but i've never
                    tasted any. So i use something called "Chinese celery" which is a
                    type of celery that is mostly leaves. The "stalks" are no bigger than
                    parsley stems.

                    And there is the debate as to whether lovage called for in Roman
                    recipes is seeds or leaves. I have tasted lovage leaves, although,
                    again, i have no ready source for them (a friend who lives about an
                    hour away has a few plants in her garden), and they tasted a bit like
                    celery leaves with a hint of menthol. According to what i've read,
                    the seeds sold in supermarkets in the US as "celery seeds" are
                    actually lovage seeds. I have not arrived at an opinion on this topic.

                    Anahita
                  • Lilinah
                    ... I suspect that in part Giacosa may have written this because modern commercial fish sauce was hard to find when she wrote her book. I ve no idea how common
                    Message 9 of 13 , Apr 8, 2007
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                      Rufinia wrote:
                      >...Even if
                      >things don't taste excately the same, we can still
                      >have siminal flavor blends. I made the stuffed dates
                      >from APicius a couple weeks ago, stuffed with ground
                      >black pepper. It's a bizaare combination, to be sure,
                      >dates with pepper, rolled in salt, and fried in honey.
                      > But it works, and it's not something I would have
                      >ever considered doing without trying this recipe.
                      >There's another one, with quince, boiled in honey and
                      >wine with a splash of garum. Agian, weird, (And both
                      >Giacosa and Faas say "Omit the garum" with the
                      >implcation that that's just yucky) but it WORKS.

                      I suspect that in part Giacosa may have written this because modern
                      commercial fish sauce was hard to find when she wrote her book. I've
                      no idea how common it is in Italy today. (and i don't mean that one
                      can find it in one city (since we know there are a few places that
                      still make it), but commonly in all large cities).

                      I don't know about Faas. He seems to delight in writing "shocking"
                      stories about what animals the Romans ate, but he seems squeamish
                      about actually cooking as the Romans did.

                      Garum/liquamen/alec is a common topic on this list - no surprise,
                      since it's a major ingredient in Roman cuisine. I use Thai fish sauce
                      - after taste testing a variety of Asian fish sauces (Thai,
                      Vietnamese, Chinese, Pilipino), it's the kind i prefer. I am not yet
                      prepared to make my own. And if it's a smelly process, well, my land
                      lady lives downstairs and i don't want to jeopardize my good
                      relationship with her...

                      Last weekend i was camping with friends and we had a potluck dinner.
                      I made an Apician "sauce for boiled tuna" - since fresh tuna is
                      rather expensive, i used a very good quality of canned tuna. The
                      sauce contained mustard, vinegar, honey, dates, black pepper, and
                      chopped onions. My friends seemed to like it - again the typical
                      Roman blend of sweet, sour, salty, and pungent.

                      Anahita
                    • apollosfriend
                      Dear Anahita, Thank you for your kind suggestions. Although I have a long list of herbs and spices that I have been unable to locate, I have found both of the
                      Message 10 of 13 , Apr 8, 2007
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                        Dear Anahita,

                        Thank you for your kind suggestions. Although I have a long list of
                        herbs and spices that I have been unable to locate, I have found both
                        of the ones that you have no source for. The following link will take
                        you to a site that has both rue and lovage:

                        http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/bulkherb/l.php
                        Bulk Organic Herbs and Spices

                        Go to the section entitled "Bulk Organic Herbs and Spices" and click
                        on the alphabetical letter desired.

                        Lovage is a wonderful spice. Mountain Rose has leaves and also root
                        but no seeds. The leaves have a very distinctive fragrance and
                        flavor. The roots smell exactly the same. I have no idea which is
                        preferable. I have been using the leaves.

                        Lovage seeds are available from Richters in Canada:

                        http://www.richters.com/Web_store/web_store.cgi?cart_id=7152394.14666
                        Richters Herb Catalogue Directory

                        Lovage seeds, again, smell exactly like the foilage and roots. They
                        look absolutely nothing like celery seeds. The seeds available from
                        Richters are sold for planting so I do not know if they are treated.
                        You would have to call them, or perhaps order some seeds and plant
                        them, harvesting the seeds later.

                        I do not find rue bitter. I seem to remember this spice being
                        commonly available in supermarkets. Wasn't there some stir about rue
                        having psychotropic qualities? Certainly not in the measure used for
                        cooking. Rue has a very "warm" fragrance and a somewhat medicinal
                        taste. Give it a try.

                        Jim Kollens, Apollo's friend



                        --- In Apicius@yahoogroups.com, Lilinah <lilinah@...> wrote:
                        >

                        > Since quantities are not usually give, to avoid having many sauces
                        > taste the same (since so many call for honey, vinegar, garum, pepper,
                        > and rue), i vary the proportions of the ingredients. I make some
                        > sweeter, some more sour, etc.
                        >
                        > Also, i don't use rue - i have no source for it - i live in an
                        > upstairs city apartment. I know that it is bitter, but i've never
                        > tasted any. So i use something called "Chinese celery" which is a
                        > type of celery that is mostly leaves. The "stalks" are no bigger than
                        > parsley stems.
                        >
                        > And there is the debate as to whether lovage called for in Roman
                        > recipes is seeds or leaves. I have tasted lovage leaves, although,
                        > again, i have no ready source for them (a friend who lives about an
                        > hour away has a few plants in her garden), and they tasted a bit like
                        > celery leaves with a hint of menthol. According to what i've read,
                        > the seeds sold in supermarkets in the US as "celery seeds" are
                        > actually lovage seeds. I have not arrived at an opinion on this topic.
                        >
                        > Anahita
                        >
                      • Lilinah
                        ... Yes, when i did a large Greco-Roman feast my friend was hoping to give me lovage, but her plants were not productive that year, although i did get to taste
                        Message 11 of 13 , Apr 8, 2007
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                          Jim Kollens, Apollo's friend, wrote:
                          >Lovage is a wonderful spice. Mountain Rose has leaves and also root
                          >but no seeds. The leaves have a very distinctive fragrance and
                          >flavor. The roots smell exactly the same. I have no idea which is
                          >preferable. I have been using the leaves.

                          Yes, when i did a large Greco-Roman feast my friend was hoping to
                          give me lovage, but her plants were not productive that year,
                          although i did get to taste them. I don't know which kind they were,
                          just that they were lovage.

                          >Lovage seeds are available from Richters in Canada:
                          >http://www.richters.com/Web_store/web_store.cgi?cart_id=7152394.14666
                          >Richters Herb Catalogue Directory
                          >
                          >Lovage seeds, again, smell exactly like the foilage and roots. They
                          >look absolutely nothing like celery seeds.

                          That's good to hear. Thanks for the info.

                          >The seeds available from
                          >Richters are sold for planting so I do not know if they are treated.
                          >You would have to call them, or perhaps order some seeds and plant
                          >them, harvesting the seeds later.
                          >
                          >I do not find rue bitter. I seem to remember this spice being
                          >commonly available in supermarkets. Wasn't there some stir about rue
                          >having psychotropic qualities? Certainly not in the measure used for
                          >cooking. Rue has a very "warm" fragrance and a somewhat medicinal
                          >taste. Give it a try.

                          Rue is not commonly available here in Berkeley CA, and we have some
                          amazing produce shops and farmers markets. Rue can be a problem
                          because some people get contact dermatitis from touching raw rue. I
                          don't know how extreme the condition is, nor how long it takes to go
                          away. Cooked rue does not cause that condition. Rue is an
                          abortifacient, but from what i can tell, one would have to eat quite
                          a bit more than a small amount used as an herb in a dish at dinner to
                          have any effect.

                          I'll have to see if anyone i know is growing any. I am eager to taste
                          it. Thanks for your description.

                          Anahita
                        • apollosfriend
                          ... If you feel comfortable sending your address, my email is JimKollens@comcast.net. I have a pound of it and would be happy to send you a sample. Jim
                          Message 12 of 13 , Apr 8, 2007
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                            --- In Apicius@yahoogroups.com, Lilinah <lilinah@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > I'll have to see if anyone i know is growing any. I am eager to taste
                            > it. Thanks for your description.

                            If you feel comfortable sending your address, my email is
                            JimKollens@.... I have a pound of it and would be happy to
                            send you a sample.

                            Jim Kollens, Apollo's friend
                          • Correus
                            Hmmm...well.....if we don t know how something tasted back then, how do we know that what we make today DOESN T taste the same today as it did then? Correus
                            Message 13 of 13 , Apr 9, 2007
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                              Hmmm...well.....if we don't know how something tasted back then, how do we know that what we make today DOESN'T taste the same today as it did then?

                              Correus

                              Allan Hunnicutt <allanhunni@...> wrote:
                              Someone once mentioned that nothing probably tasted even remotely the same back in Roman times, and so, he asked, what is the point of cooking anything from an ancient Roman recipe? Anyone care to respond?


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