CLASSU's Fall Ancient Food Day Returns (featuring Apicius’ Apricot Recipe)

October 12, 2023 by Department of Classics

Following the success of last year's iteration, CLASSU welcomed students back to campus with their second annual Fall Ancient Food Day. Below, CLASSU President, Teodora Mladin, discusses how the event came to be and its significance for the Classics community:

Maintaining Ancient Food Day as a tradition is a testament to CLASSU’s commitment to connecting our community through our area of study. Through this event, we hope that we can transport you to ancient marketplaces, households, and festive occasions, where food was not just sustenance but an integral part of communal bonding and celebration. We see similarities in how food brings us together, allowing us to meet and interact with people we would’ve normally only given a nod of acknowledgement when passing through the halls of this building.

The preparations that lead up to this event are nothing short of monumental, and I want to thank every CLASSU senator for the countless hours they’ve put into ensuring the success of this event. Ancient Food Day would also not exist without the unwavering determination of its founder, John Liao. I reached out to John, and I’ll leave you off with a quote from him: “Ancient Food Day has always been, to me, fundamentally a project about passion and community. It’s both a chance to showcase the fruits of our collective learning as classics students and to connect ourselves with a long line of humanity gathered around food and foodways just as we are: it humanizes us as much as it does them.”

 Of all dishes, CLASSU collectively decided the apricots were the favourite. Find the recipe below.

Apicius’ Apricot Recipe (John Liao's translation from Latin)

A delicious dessert made by cooking fresh apricots in honey and wine before serving in its own sauce.

Apricot Appetizer: Wash firm, early or small apricots, pit them, and put them in the cold [water]. Arrange them in a pan. Crush pepper and dried mint, pour over liquamen and add honey, passum, wine and vinegar. Pour over the apricots in the pan. Add a little oil and heat on a low flame. Thicken [the sauce] with starch while it simmers. Sprinkle with pepper and serve.