[edited and translated by] Christopher Grocock and Sally Grainger ; with illustrations by Dan Shadrake
Apicius is the sole remaining cookery book from the days of the Roman Empire. Though there were many ancient Greek and Latin works concerning food, this collection of recipes is unique. The editors suggest that it is a survival from many such collections maintained by working cooks and that the attribution to Apicius the man (a real-life Roman noble of the 2nd century AD) is a mere literary convention. There have been many English translations of this work (and, abroad, some important academic editions), but none reliable since 1958 (Flower and Rosenbaum). In any case, this edition and translation has revisited all surviving manuscripts in Europe and the USA and proposes many new readings and interpretations. The great quality of this editorial team is that while the Latin scholarship is supplied by Chris Grocock, Sally Grainger contributes a lifetime's experience in the practical cookery adaptations of the recipes in this text. This supplies a wholly new angle from which to verify the textual and editorial suggestions. This volume supplies a fully referenced parallel text (Latin and English) of Apicius and of the excerpts from Apicius done by Vinidarius.
There is an extensive introduction discussing both the art of cookery in the later Empire and the origins of this text, together with a new hypothesis as to its true date. There are then long appendixes discussing the vexed question of the true nature of the Roman store sauces, garum and liquamem. There is also a full bibliography and extensive discussion of the meaning of technical terms found in the text. This book will set a new standard for Apician studies.