Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Moretum - E Pluribus Unum

From The Classical Cookbook, I made Moretum, which came from the recipes that comprise a feast at Cato's farm. "Moretum" translates to "salad." This recipe is actually a poem by the same name written by Virgil.

The original Latin poem can be found ibi.
The English translation can be found here.

The Classical Cookbook recipe calls for:

2 heads garlic
8 oz Pecorino Romano Cheese
1 large handful of coriander leaves (cilantro)
2 t chopped fresh rue
2 heaped t chopped fresh celery leaf
1 t salt
1 T white wine vinegar
1 T olive oil

Peel, and roughly chop the garlic. Grate the cheese. Roughly chop the herbs Grind the garlic and salt, break it down to a pulp in a mortar and pestle. Add cheese and herbs. When you have a smooth mixture, add liquids, and mix well. Gather mixture together and chill. Serve with a crusty loaf.

Dear Reader, although authenticity is a prominent objective of this blog, and following the ancients' culinary techniques is a valuable endeavor, sometimes it is necessary for me to not follow the recipes of antiquity to the letter. In the interest of keeping things scholarly on this blog, I skipped this part of the recipe in Virgil's poem:

Th' aforesaid herbs he now doth introduce
And with his left hand 'neath his hairy groin
Supports his garment;' with his right he first
The reeking garlic with the pestle breaks,

This garlic and cheese recipe is actually quite famous. In the original Latin poem, during the mashing of the garlic and green herbs, Virgil describes the colors blending into one ("color est e pluribus unus"), at line 102. This is conjugated to, "E Pluribus Unum," the motto of the United States of America. Our country's motto came from a cheese ball recipe.

1 comment:

  1. This cheese was so strong that it was nearly inedible, especially straight. It worked out wonderfully when I topped a steak and baked potato in this last night. I couldn't handle this cheese alone, I think it must've been intended to be put on something else. It's about one-half garlic! Yeow! As the Tribune said, it'd be great for keeping away vampires.