Friday, November 12, 2010

Apicius' Sweet and Salty Dates

What we have here is a truly delicious dessert. This one is straight from Ye Olde Apicius' ancient, yet amazingly corrupted in transmission, cookbook. I can't remember what recipe # it is offhand, but if I come across it later I will post it.

Walnuts or other nuts

1) Pit the dates.
2) Stuff the nuts where the pits used to be and squeeze the dates closed. They will stick back together because, well, they are sticky. This step demonstrates a concept prevalent in ancient Roman cooking, the element of disguise. See, you will think there is a pit in the date, but instead it is a tasty nut which looks like a pit. What a zinger! Those Romans!
3) Roll the dates in salt so they look like this:

4) Put a pan over low heat. Add some honey to the pan. Very exciting - yes, honey can be used as a cooking medium. Use low heat because you are frying in honey and not oil. 
5) When the honey is at the right temp - first it will get very runny and then it will just be beginning to bubble - add enough dates to make a layer in your pan. 

5) Stir them so they are coated with honey and hot and then remove from plate onto a serving dish. Add more honey to pan if needed and cook all the dates in batches until they are all cooked. Eat while hot, but careful of boilingly hot honey permanently scalding your mouth.

These are actually shockingly delicious. Shocking. Shocking!


1 comment:

Katy said...

We made these the other day, as part of a Romans themed History day, and they were gorgeous! Also made Libum, which the children liked better, while the adults devoured the dates.