How to Cook an Early French Peacock: De Observatione Ciborum - Roman Food for a Frankish King
No cookbook has survived from the first centuries when the Merovingian Franks invaded Gaul and founded what become known as "The Kingdom of the Franks" - Francia. But this dietetic - a medical letter from a Byzantine doctor to a Frankish king - comes close.
This new translation of this very rare work includes an overview of the cuisine it addresses, a look at some similar works over the centuries, a list of Anthimus' remedies for specific ailments and an overview of his ideas and approach, as well as a new translation of the work (from Latin) and a number of modernized recipes based on instructions in the book. These range from the very simple - stewed quinces - to the complex - beaten egg whites steamed in various liquids and beef stewed in vinegar and honey with spices.
The information Anthimus preserved is extraordinarily rare and his work should equally interest historical cooks, medievalists and students of Roman food.