Trimalchio’s Feast

One of the most famous Roman feasts is the one given by Trimalchio, as described in The Satyricon by Petronius. There is one minor problem with trying to recreate this feast – it never actually existed!

But of course, this hasn’t stopped people from trying to recreate it – including me. After all, in the immortal words of Jeremy Clarkson, “How hard can it be?” Perhaps regular watchers of Top Gear will now be thinking of rocket Reliant Robins… or sinking Dampervans…. or Italian Supercars that can’t even get to Slough.

Anyways, it should be a fun journey! For anyone who’s interested,the full text of Trimalchio’s Feast can be found here at Project Gutenberg.

Trimalchio's Feast?

Here’s the proposed menu (recipes will be added as they are worked out):

Gustatio (Appetisers)

  • Green Olives
  • Black Olives
  • Beef Sausage, served on a grill over plums and pomegranates
  • “Dormice” – pork meatballs glazed with honey and poppy seed, served on a bridge
  • Fake Figpecker Eggs with Fake Figpecker – recipe

Mensa Prima (First Course)

  • Aries – Chickpeas (Erebinthoi Knakosymmigies – from the Deipnosophistae)recipe
  • Taurus – Veal Stew (Apicius 8.5.4) – recipe
  • Gemini – Chicken’s Testicles
  • Cancer – Rocket and Endive garlands
  • Leo – Figs
  • Virgo – Eggs in Pine Nut Sauce (Apicius 7.17.3) – recipe
  • Libra – Mushrooms (Apicius 7.13.4)
  • Scorpio – Prawns
  • Sagittarius – Asparagus and Beetroot (Apicius 3.11.2) – recipe
  • Capricorn – Goat Cheese
  • Aquarius – Duck Breast (Apicius 6.2.2) – recipe
  • Pisces – Sardines (Apicius 10.1.5)

Cena (Main Course)

  • The Trojan Hog – Whole Pig, stuffed with sausages
  • Stuffed Chicken
  • Winged Hare
  • Fish Swimming in Sauce – whole fish served in sauce
  • Dates

Mensa Secunda (Sweet Course)

  • Grapes
  • Baked Apples with Saffron Honey
  • Puddings that squirt saffron custard
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