Food - Drink
This Roman Cookbook Might Be The Oldest In The World
“Foodie” might be a new word, but the enthusiasm for food that it denotes has always existed. One of the earliest known foodies of the Western world was Marcus Gavius Apicius, who lived in the Roman Empire during the first century, and the book detailing his food adventures might be the West’s oldest known cookbook.
The book, “Apicius’s De Re Coquinaria,” is credited to Apicius, but as with all ancient manuscripts, it’s likely that he didn’t write the version we are left with but rather the words were copied and changed over time. Regardless, the book gives us an excellent look into the eating lives of Romans with recipes like clarifying muddy wine, boiled ostrich, and stuffed dormouse.
This copy of the book was written around 830 CE, but we do know quite a bit about the man behind the book. Apicius was a wealthy merchant and food lover who hosted lavish banquets and dined on delicacies like flamingo tongue, fattened pig liver, and prawns; his indulgences eventually caught up with him and he later lost his fortune and poisoned himself.