i remember well the first time I tried my hand
to this recipe. It was while I studied Greek and Latin; we were a group
of students responsible for editing a periodical, we knew our Latin, but
wee quite ignorant of culinary matters. The eggs, of course, were boiled
too hard and floating in a sourish honey with pine-kernels embedded like
insects in amber.
Time brings wisdom: every Apician recipe that begins with 'piper, ligusticum'
makes me automatically reach for the mortar. Even if not explicitly stated,
for anyone familiar with the recipes from De re coquinaria it is obvious
that one should first grind the dry ingredients in a mortar, after which
they are to be diluted with the liquids to make a sauce. Moreover, from
other recipes than this one it becomes evident that pine-kernels were
seldom used in a decorative manner, as nowadays, but as a binding agent.
About 2 oz. of pine-kernels, some freshly ground pepper, a teaspoon of
lovage-seed are ground toghether in the mortar. One or two tablespoons
of honey, a few teaspoons of white wine vinegar and then mix well. Add
just a few drops of garumº
and stir well until it all turns into a sauce with the thickness of our