Sunday, December 9, 2018

Tavola Mediterranea

This week, I found a food-and-archaeology blog I had not encountered before:  Tavola Mediterranea.  TM is written by an archaeologist named Farrell Monaco, whose primary archaeological interest is the food of prior cultures in the Mediterranean.

Although she has posted about recent items, the real jewel of the blog in my opinion is her series of posts on the cuisine of ancient Rome, which includes clear redactions of the moretum recipes of Symilus and Columella. (Yes, she believes you need to use 4 bulbs of garlic to properly make Symilus's recipe!) If I thought I'd have enough time between now and Christmas, I'd make both kinds of moretum!   The embedded video in this post is Ms. Monaco's demonstration of the proper way to grind fresh herbs using a mortar and pestle.  Note that she is using a coarse-textured Mexican-style mortar and pestle; since Roman mortars had abrasive bits embedded in them, the style of mortar used by Ms. Monaco probably contributes to getting the desired effect.

For the more whimsical (or those interested in eras of antiquity greater than that of Rome), check out TM's post on how to make convincing cuneiform tablets out of gingerbread.

Thanks to Katrin Kania, whose blog inspired me to check out Tavola Mediterranea.

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