We often think about how the people of the past influenced us, but we don’t always remember what they ate. Prepare Delian Sweets as you follow Lesson 20 of Dave Raymond’s Antiquity course, titled “To the Strongest: Alexander the Great.”
Alexander the Great was a man of war, so his diet on the battlefield would probably have consisted mostly of meat, vegetables, and bread, very simple. But off the battlefield he would have enjoyed more elaborate meals, eating foods like Delian Sweets. Delian sweets were first written about by historian Athenaeus, who mentions them in a description of the people of Delos. Later historian Apicius wrote down the recipe. The following recipe is the original Apicius penned centuries ago, with added measurements and more detailed instructions.
- 170ml water
- 60g flour
- Olive oil for deep frying (you can also use vegetable oil)
- In medium-sized pot pour in water and bring to a boil. Sift flour quickly into boiling water, then beat vigorously until smooth and no lumps remain. Cook, still stirring, on medium heat for 2 minutes.
- Spread dough on large marble slab or dinner plate and let cool completely. While cooling, fill medium to large sized pot 1/4 full of oil and heat over medium-high heat. To test if oil is ready for frying, drop in a small chunk of bread. If the bread sizzles and turns golden, the oil is ready. Cut flour-water paste into small squares and drop, 2-3 at a time, into oil. Fry until golden brown on both sides, then remove from oil and put on a paper-towel lined plate to drain. When all sweets are fried, place in bowl and drizzle honey over them.