This ancient Roman dish is an adaptation of a recipe from De re culinaria (On the Subject of Cooking) by Apicius. This collection of Roman cookery recipes is thought to have been compiled in the 1st century AD, making it around 2,000 years old.
With an ancient recipe such as this, there were a few barriers to overcome: firstly, the translation, which I found in The Classical Cookbook published by the British Museum – this publication also gave me a great leg up when it came to the modern recipe, as I started with their suggested method and tweaked for my version.
The other obstacle is more subjective, but it comes down to our changing tastes. The Romans loved their sweet and sour flavours – which have more parallels today with Asian as opposed to European dishes. But once you come to understand the Romans’ way of seasoning – honey for sweetness, vinegar for sour – it opens up a whole new world of intense savoury flavours.