Only one cookbook has survived from antiquity: De re coquinaria. This book is attributed to Marcus Gavius Apicius (first century AD). He was a foodie in the inner circle of the Roman emperor Tiberius. The cookbook is, in fact, a collection of recipes from the Greek period to the fourth century AD.
Many dishes from Apicius’ text are very luxurious for that time. Exotic animals, expensive spices, amphoras full of garum (fish sauce) and lots of herbs were used in the dishes. The recipes from this manuscript are surprisingly tasty and worth cooking, as are other Roman recipes.
Almost no quantities or preparation methods are mentioned in the recipes. When you read the ‘shopping lists’ in the Roman cookbook for the first time, you can hardly imagine the result of a dish or flavour combination.You can use the recipes on this website to try the beautiful Roman dishes and inspiring flavours.