When you get to Week 23 of Dave Raymond’s Antiquity course, you’ll be covering “ The War of Gods and Demons: The Conquest of Italy, Carthage, and Greece” Rome is known as the greatest empire of the ancient western world, but its not always known what the people who made up that empire ate.
As the Roman Republic grew in strength, it quickly swallowed up countries in its quest for power. The Republic first and foremost wanted to be the mightiest of the ancient nations, but as they conquered highly-cultured places like Greece, they realized they also wanted to dominate the world culturally. Poets like Virgil were authorized to write Roman epics resembling the Greek’s Iliad and Odyssey. Interestingly, in one Roman poem possibly written by Virgil, there is included a very detailed recipe for a garlic cheese, called Moretum. This spread was probably eaten by Roman farmers, and the original recipe calls for a mortar and pestle to thoroughly mix the ingredients by hand.
Moretum, or Garlic Cheese
- 8-10 cloves garlic, peeled
- 110 g Pecorino Romano Cheese
- 1/4 tsp. Ground coriander
- 1 tsp. Chopped parsley leaves
- 1/8 tsp. Salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. White wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. Olive oil
- Grate the cheese and roughly chop the garlic. In a food processor, combine the cheese, garlic, coriander, salt, and parsley leaves and pulse until mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add. The vinegar and olive oil and pulse until smooth. Eat with crusty bread or crackers.