Recipe Rewind Episode 6: Punic Porridge

Porridge wasn’t always just for breakfast, at one time it was dined on by the nobility of Carthage.

Porridge declined in popularity with the Romans by 200BC in favour of bread, but their enemies the Carthaginians still ate it.

Whilst lower classes would make theirs with more inexpensive ingredients, we know the recipe from Cato the Elder, who wrote the dish as made by nobles and called it ‘Punic Porridge’, another demonym for Carthaginians. It reads:

Soak a pound of groats in water until it is quite soft. Pour it into a clean bowl, add 3 pounds of fresh cheese, ½ pound of honey, and 1 egg, and mix the whole thoroughly; turn into a new pot.

He probably didn’t talk like that, he actually spoke Latin so he would have said…this:

Pultem Punicam sic coquito. Libram alicae in aquam indito, facito uti bene madeat. Id infundito in alveum purum, eo casei recentis P. III, mellis P. S, ovum unum, omnia una permisceto bene. Ita insipito in aulam novam.

FURTHER READING –

De Agri Cultura Transcript
On De Agri Cultura
On Cato the Elder
On the Third Punic War


Ingredients:

  • Desired portion of porridge oats/semolina/bulgur wheat
  • Two whole eggs
  • 90g of ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • Cinnamon on top (optional)

Boil the kettle and put your desired oats portion in a saucepan. Cover with water and warm up.

After a minute, crack two whole eggs inside and mix. Then put around 90g of ricotta cheese per person. Keep mixing on a low heat.

Squeeze in about two tablespoons of honey, mix and pour into separate bowls. Sprinkle cinnamon on top to taste.


nuts

Written by Benjamin Daniels

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