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Cooking Apicius: Roman Recipes for Today by…
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Cooking Apicius: Roman Recipes for Today

by Sally Grainger

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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 quite 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 have 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. Also of great use are her experiments making garum and liquamen.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in cooking recipes from the Apician cookbook. And it is especially useful to those who are shy of starting out from the original recipes themselves, which can be rather vague. ( )
  lilinah | Feb 21, 2009 |
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