This is meant to be a surprising item in a
range of sweets to be served as mensae secundae and not very hard
to prepare: whereas most Roman pastry and teh like were made by specialised
pastry-cooks, this recipe can be made at home.
The recipe speaks of two different kinds of dates, but nowadays only one
kind is available, at least where I live. Just make a small incision to
remove the seed and replace it with the quarter of a walnut or some pine-kernels.
Ground pepper didn't seem attractive enough to me to make me try it, but
do feel free to do so. Use salt sparingly, but don't omit it: this combination
of sweet and salty is about as Roman as one can imagine.
For 'frying' I used a frying-pan with just a few tablespoons of runny
honey. Do not let it evaporate too much, for that will produce a very
tough sweet after cooling off. Serve them warm, but not hot, if you like.
Add a pinch of pepper after all...