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Cooking: Crustulum and Dulcia Domestica (Roman)

Ratna Drost (NL)

The Romans enjoyed food and dining. I’ve selected the recipes for ‘crustulum’, a mini Roman pancake, and ‘dulcia domestica’, stuffed dates. Crustulum counts as humble nourishment for soldiers, dulcia domestica as a more decadent snack.

For Crustulum:
Ingriedients: flour, water, white wine/ mead, olive oil, apples, raisins or nuts.
A ‘Craticula', some kind of Roman furnace/grill to be placed above a campfire
A Roman pancakes pan

For Dulcia domestica:
Ingriedients: (Fresh) Dates, almonds, honey, salt, pepper/ cinnamon.
An oven
A baking dish

Instruction for crustulum:
1. Dig a hole in the ground in which you can make a fire. Place your ‘craticula’ on top of the fire pit. Make sure you have a good fire, but not one that rises above the ‘craticula’ itself.
2. Mix the flour with water, wine, honey and a bit of olive oil into a thin pancake batter. There are no specific proportions, mix to your own liking. Add chopped apples, raisins or/ and nuts to your batter.
3. Fill the oiled holes of the pan with small portions of your batter. We use olive oil for this.
4. Bake the ‘crustulum’ until they’re well-done and brown. Serve while hot with honey. Crustulum with raisins, apples, or nuts, take slightly more time to bake properly than plain ones.

Instruction for dulcia domestica:
1. Remove the stone from the date.
2. Fill up the date by placing two almonds in it.
3. Place all the almond-filled dates side by side in an oiled baking dish.
4. Cover the dates with a generous, but thin layer of cinnamon powder. For the real Roman taste, use pepper.
5. Sprinkle sea salt on top of the cinnamon covered dates.
6. Last, but not least, pour a generous amount of honey over them. I like to practically cover them up completely, because the honey will help with the baking process, it prevents dehydration of the dates and it adds the desired sweet flavour.
7. Bake the dates in the oven for about 10/15 minutes at 180 degrees.
8. Serve hot or cold.

While cooking, make sure you pay attention to your fire pit, fire, oven, utensils etc. The craticula and most of the utensils will become very hot. Explain children why they cannot touch them without your help. Keep your fire in check and don’t allow visitors to add wood to it themselves. Do not turn your back on them for a minute. If you need to leave, make sure one of your colleagues is there to supervise for you.



Roman utensils for cooking
Roman Craticula
Roman Pancake Pan