Variation in Roman Cooking: The Tale of the Cucumber and the Melon

This post recounts the results of an experiment that took place recently between me and my husband. In the Apician cookbook there are two recipes very close together that can be used for either cucumbers or melons: PEPPER, PENNYROYAL, HONEY OR CONDENSED MUST, BROTH AND VINEGAR; ONCE IN A WHILE ONE ADDS SILPHIUM. (Apicius III.6.3 (for cucumbers) and III.7.1 (for melons)) Ingredients are listed, but … Read more

Viva Variation

In living the research for The Silk Road Gourmet, I found that modern, western cookery imposed something of an artificial uniformity on the art of the kitchen by demanding that all food adhere rigorously to prescribed recipes.  By comparison, in much of southwest and Central Asia, recipes are given with ingredients such as “greens” in them, with no specific mention of whether the cook means … Read more