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Martin Lister and Roman Cookery

Apicius (1st century B.C.E.)
Apicii Coelii De opsoniis et condimentis sive arte coquinaria ( Amstelodami : Apud Janssonio-Waesbergios, MDCCIX [1709])
MU Special Collections
Rare Book Collection
TX713 .A65 1709

Although this cookbook is named after Marcus Gavius Apicius, a Roman gastronome who lived during the reign of Tiberius, it is actually more likely the work of a fourth-century compiler.  The book contains over 450 recipes and draws from works on agriculture, household management, and dietetics.

Apicius included no information about cooking techniques or ingredient amounts, but the book does have many food preservation tips. Some of the recipes, such as those for rose wine, chicken broth, and salads, were seen as medicinal.

Later scholars became interested in this cookbook for its documentation of early Mediterranean cuisine, before the introduction of foods like tomatoes and pasta.  This edition was privately printed for Martin Lister, a physician to the British royal family, member of the Royal Society, and prominent geologist. He included extensive commentary.  Only one hundred copies were printed.

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