- Sally! Good to see you again. We had been missing your opinions.
In a message dated 5/31/00 9:29:33 AM, you wrote:
<< One small head of green
garlic can have anything from 8-12 cloves of varying size. The cheese is at
no time measured and that of cause is the problem. I took a guess at about 4
oz as an amount that could easily be pounded at one time. >>
Of course in your book, at least in the hardback edition I have, you have
different ratios (and 8 oz IS awefully hard to pound at once, but then the
Romans had HUGE mortars compared to what I keep around the house). YOu do
point out that we can somewhat judge the ratio of garlic to cheese based on
Virgil's hints as to the viscosity/consistancy of the finished product.
<< I vary between 30-40 cloves per lb of pecorino Romano depending on the
I will note that update in my copy of your book!
<< This is a hard, aged cheese of a kind that you could well find
hanging in the rafters.
My definition of moretum is that it should "fight back" when you eat it.
>>I like it that way too, though a lot of people I've given it too have
suggested less garlic.
Anyway, since my last update I've made the following:
Vegetarian liquamen. I did this according to Grant's version of the
recipe given in I forget which ancient source. Grant uses the rapid boiling
method, so I'm not sure the resulting liquid is anything more than pear juice
with a TON of sea-salt in it. Also, he forgot to mention that you need to
filter it (assuming you would know that from the recipe for normal fish
sauce), and I didn't have a muslin... I ended up needing to use coffee
filters, which was NOT a pleasant experience by any means. The result is not
nearly as tastey on its own as thai fish sauce, or even soy sauce, but it's
fine when added to a recipe so far as I can tell, and it's more authentic
Lenticula de castaneis (Apicius 184). According to Giacosa. Couldn't
find chestnuts, so I had to substitute filberts, in smaller quantities.
Nevertheless, I think Giacosa's recipe could use quite a bit of tweaking...
fewer nuts and lentils and/or more sauce. As a rule, I find that I can't
trust the proportions given in Grant or Giacosa... but it's probably better
than going on what little instinct I have! IN any case, the result was quite
good, nevertheless, and my hosts (for whom I was cooking) gobbled it down
Apicius 301 (dulcia), again. This time I used goats milk to be more
authentic, and rolled it out much flatter than last time. It was delicious!
Tonight I'm thinking of doing ova sfongia ex lacte (Apicius 303), as I
need to make sure I use up my goats milk. It seems taht most Ancient Roman
deserts are basically some combination of flower and milk covered with
peppered honey! This one, however, has eggs.
And what have you been up to?