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Cooking Apicius: Roman Recipes for Today Paperback

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Cooking Apicius: Roman Recipes for Today + A Taste of Ancient Rome + Roman Cookery: Ancient Recipes for Modern Kitchens
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Prospect Books (December 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903018447
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903018446
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sally Grainger is the author of The Classical Cookbook (with Andrew Dalby) for the British Museum. She is a leading reconstructionist cook and has produced classical and medieval meals for countless conferences and public gatherings.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Richard Campbell on September 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
For years, people reconstructing Roman food have taken Apicius literally, and without any thought into the many elements of Roman food. Usually, the food is at best tastless, often inedible, and the excuse is usually an emphatic "this is how the Romans did it! Their taste is not ours". Rather, Apicius is a guide for experienced cooks, much like 18th and 19th century US cookbooks, where the recipe leaves almost all the explanations and cooking instructions out.

Sally Grainger has done meticulous research into the elements of Roman cooking, and actually worked the recipes out into very palatable dishes. I've read through almost all the so called Apicius cookbooks and this is by far the most thorough explanation of the ingredients and how they are made, including mulsum and garum, and in depth descriptions of the unusual seasonings like lovage.

This will change how our reenactment and reconstruction efforts will present Roman food from now on, and make the accompanying academic book that much more interesting.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lilinah on December 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
I was thrilled to receive Christopher Grocock and Sally Grainger's new comprehensive translation of the Apician cookbook, "Apicius, a Critical Edition". It is a masterwork.

I was also pleased to receive Grainger's "Cooking Apicius". Grainger is both a scholar and an excellent cook of Ancient Roman food. Her book is written in a friendly, personal, and sometimes chatty manner, and contains many Britishisms, but, then, she is British, after all.

Her discussions of various ingredients and cooking techniques were informative. I have cooked from the Flower/Rosenbaum translation, and also own Andre Dalby & Sally Grainger's "Classical Cookbook", "Around the Roman Table: Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome" by Patrick Faas, "Roman Cookery: Ancient Recipes for Modern Kitchens" by Mark Grant, "A Taste of Ancient Rome" by Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa.

I've found all these books instructive, but I enjoy working out the recipes myself and making my own decisions on what substitutes to use here in the US. At the same time, I always appreciate hearing how another cook interprets a recipe, and I very much appreciated Grainger's explanations throughout of her decisions to make certain interpretations or use particular ingredients.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in cooking recipes from the Apician cookbook, but shy of starting out from the original recipes themselves, which can be rather vague.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Linkletter on November 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I mistook it for the volume that she co-authored with her husband. Okay, with the price difference I should not have made that mistake, but the source I got her name from just described an authoritative book on Apicius by Sally Grainger and did not give a title. When I found this book I looked no further. If I had looked at the inside views of the book I would have seen that the recipes in this book are her interpretations of her favorites from the original work, and not the complete ancient work. Mia culpa.

The one major failing of the book is that it lacks an index. I am talking about the ink-and-paper, hardcopy, book. Not Kindle. Printed books should have an index, in my opinion.

A minor annoyance is her use of a variety of spoon sizes with no real information. She specifies four sizes of spoons in somewhat vague terms, and only gives the metric volume of the largest. It should have been easy enough to measure and specify the other three spoons that she uses. This would not have been so annoying had she not said that you needed to stick closely to her amounts of ingredients the first time you cooked any recipe of hers, and only vary amounts after you are sure how the dish tastes when cooked her way. That's a little difficult to do if you don't know what amounts she is actually using.

I don't feel it is wise to advise people to wander the streets picking berries from people's hedges, especially when you admit that the ones you are instructing them to pick closely resemble some that are very toxic.
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