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An Overview of Food Recipe History

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An Overview of Food Recipe History


The first cookbooks were not only compilations of recipes. They included thorough directions for making medications and potions, sometimes mixed with advice on how to prepare meals to fill up a page. Three clay tablets located in the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History are among the earliest known recipes. It dates back to the Old Babylonian era, around 1700 BC. The Apicius, also known as the De re culinaria or the De re coquinaria, is the earliest surviving text in the West that we would consider to be an actual cookbook. It is an assortment of Roman cooking methods. Pliny the Elder quotes it in his Natural History, placing its compilation in the first century AD. The New York Academy of Medicine in New York City is where you can see it.


Recipes themselves predate these earlier manuals. In reality, there are several old recipes still in use today, with cheesecake being a global favorite. The Greeks made the delicious gastronomic discovery of cheesecake. A thick, delightful coating of sweetened cheese and a buttery biscuit crust were featured in this creamy and delectable meal preparation. Simple ingredients like honey, flour, and soft cheese were utilized in the recipe. This resulted in a delicately flavored cake that is frequently served at weddings and other events. The Romans altered the cheesecake recipe by using eggs as well as cheese crumbs. It was known as savillum. Still to be done now is the addition of lemon or orange zest.


Savillum, Roman




  • ‘Fifteen bay leaves’


  • 3 eggs


  • Ricotta cheese, 8 ounces


  • half a cup of honeyy


  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest


  • One tablespoon of lemon juice.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flowers


  • Strawberries can be added to dishes to bring them into the twenty-first century.


Pre-heat an oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. A small oven-safe bowl with some water in it should be placed in the oven. Place the bay leaves in an even layer over the springform pan’s bottom.


Ricotta cheese, honey, orange zest, and lemon juice are combined after beating the eggs in a mixing basin. Add the flour and mix it in while ensuring fair distribution. Carefully avoid disturbing the bay leaves as you slowly pour the batter over them.


Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in a preheated oven, or until golden. Release from the springform pan by running the tip of a paring knife around the pan’s edges. Serve it warm or cold after inverting it onto a serving platter.


160 calories per serving; 6.5g protein; 25.4g carbs; 4.2g fat; 78.5mg cholesterol; and 62.8mg salt.


The Drawbacks of Recreating Old Recipes


Ancient recipes lack clarity and call for items that are out of reach as well as using contemporary measurements. When translating ancient languages, a lot of information can be lost. The fact that the quality of the dish will vary if you have to make any modifications at all by switching components is another significant drawback. Additionally, the results of a recipe will vary depending on the region. For instance, altitude affects how effectively foods bake and boil. At 2000 feet, the boiling point of water is just 98 or 96°, but at sea level it is 100°C. In order to achieve the greatest outcomes, one must be aware of the setting for which a recipe was created.


In fact, Jean Bottéro was the first to carefully examine the recipes found on the 3,700-year-old Babylonian tablets. The French historian Bottéro was born in Valla Uris. He was a well-known authority on the Ancient Near East and an important Assyriologist. He wasn’t exactly complimentary of the recipes. He said that the dish was “only appropriate for his fiercest foes.” Brown University, however, eventually made an effort to enhance Bottéro’s recipe interpretations. They said they could be made to taste good. Here is the dish’s modified recipe for “Wildfowl Pie”:


Pie with Sumerian Wildfowl.


When filling:


  • 1 uncooked chicken


  • One leek (or onion)


  • four shallots


  • 4 garlic cloves.


  • 3 tablespoons of fresh mint leaves.


  • 3 tablespoons cumin


  • 3 teaspoons of cinnamon.


  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  • 1 teaspoon honeyy


  • 2 tablespoons semolina


  • 1 quart of milk


  • Olive oil, 1 tablespoon


  • 1 tablespoon vinegar


  • 2 cups of light beer or cider.


To make the crust:


  • 3 cups of flour.


  • A half-cup of rendered fat


  • Salt, two tablespoons


  • 1 quart of milk


The leek, three of the shallots, and the garlic should be chopped, and they should be caramelized in 1 tablespoon of olive oil (you may add a bit more if they’re sticking to the pan). Verify if everything has acquired a lovely tan. Add the cumin and cinnamon toward the end so they can roast and release their flavors.


In a saucepan, combine the chicken (on the bone), the caramelized leek, shallot, and garlic mixture, salt, vinegar, honey, milk, and beer, then lower the temperature to simmer (approximately 125 C/250 F). It takes between 45 and 60 minutes for it to become sensitive.


Add the last shallot, chopped mint leaves, and semolina after about 40 minutes, when the chicken is almost done (still a bit pink). Stir until you get something resembling chicken salad and a little amount of light gravy. To create a great pie filling, take out as many bones as you can.


Construct the pie crust. Mix the semolina, salt, and rendered fat in a bowl. Add milk as needed to make a dough that is sticky but moldable. The oven should be heated to 175 °C (350 °F). Apply butter or olive oil to a pie pan and push approximately 2/3 of the crust into the pan.

Put some pie filling in there.


The remaining crust should be formed into a circle and placed on top of the pie. Make a few holes in the top with a fork and delicately brush it with melted butter (this will make it lovely and crusty). Bake the pie for approximately 30 minutes, or until the top becomes tan. Place it on the counter and give it 10 to 15 minutes to cool.


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