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February 27, 1937

Apicius: Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome

JAMA. 1937;108(9):756. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780090068034

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This cookery book, dating back to imperial Rome, contains some 500 recipes in cookery with a sprinkling of medical formulas and hints as to hygiene. The author of the volume is unknown, and it is presumably a repetition of Greek knowledge compiled by an unknown Roman cook. Especially interesting are the equivalents of our modern cocktails, laxative wines, the salts, vegetable dinners, and the various items which, because of symbolism, were supposed to have special value in relationship to body function. Special interest attaches to the product Garum, which was a fish oil made from the livers of fish, exposed to the sun, fermented and preserved. This product in ancient Rome was renowned for its medicinal properties.

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