Salve! My name is Parker and I’m currently a college freshman. I’ve been interested in ancient history for a while, but this blog actually started up as a result of wonderful quarantine boredom. With school and all sorts of activities canceled for the spring of 2020, I decided to jump on something I had been keen to test out for a while as a result of my reading: trying old recipes that people haven’t tasted for centuries. And the rest is history.
Why did I choose Roman recipes?
I figured that Rome’s relative longevity as a civilization is significant in and of itself, but there’s also an abundance of recipes to try. Roman authors of all subjects seem to have, at some point, written about food. Some of the recipes I found are absurd (dolphin meatballs or ostrich ragout), while others are remarkably mundane (pickles or lentil soup). The depth and variety offered by Roman cuisine is practically unmatched, which encouraged me to dive in. In time I’d like to sample regional cuisines from across the empire if I can (Greek, Numidian, Parthian, etc.), as well.
A bit about the Latin…
The name of this website comes from Latin, but doesn’t seem to be gramatically correct (should be antiquitatis or antiquitatum, meaning “Foods of the Ancients”). This name is adapted from the writing of Marsilio Cagnati, a 16th-century Italian writer and naturalist who wrote prolific commentaries on Cato and other classical luminaries, a spirit that I’ve tried to capture a little on here.
Also, as all of the original recipes were written in Latin, I’ve included an English translation of each. I’ve done some of the translating myself, but have also used other sources to ensure accuracy (described in more detail here). And finally, though this may seem trivial in the grand scheme of things, I don’t include macrons in any of the words in my Latin recipes due to formatting issues, in case there was any concern.