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Ius in Assaturae
Arwen Southernwood

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Original Recipe


Apicius, #220
Assaturas:  Mirtae siccae bacam extenteratam cum cumino, pipere, melle, liquamine, defrito et oleo teres et fervefactum amulas.  Carnem elixam sale subassatam perfundis, piper aspargis et inferes. 
For Roasted Meat:  Crush dried, pitted myrtle berries with cumin, pepper, honey, garum, defrutum, and oil; heat and thicken with starch.  Boil the meat and then roast it slightly with salt; pour the sauce over, sprinkle with pepper, and serve.  [Giacosa, pp. 35-6]



1/4 cup dried currants
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
3/4 teaspoons Thai fish sauce (garum)
1/4 cup white wine, boiled to reduce by half
2 teaspoons olive oil
Bread crumbs

Preparation Steps

Place currants, cumin, pepper, honey, fish sauce, reduced wine, and olive oil in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add a small amount of bread crumbs, just until sauce thickens. 

Number of Servings

Makes approximately 1/2 cup sauce.

Redaction Notes

Myrtle berries were unavailable, so I chose to substitute dried currants instead.  My sauce seemed quite thick without the addition of bread crumbs, so I left them out.  Perhaps if fresh currants or myrtle berries had been used, the mixture would have been moister, requiring thickening.


  • Giacosa, Ilaria Gozzini (Herklotz, Anna, translator).  A Taste of Ancient Rome.  The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 1992.  ISBN 0-226-29032-8.
  • Vehling, Joseph Dommers (translator).  Apicius:  Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome.  Dover Publications Inc., New York, 1977.  ISBN 0-486-23563-7. 

Date Of Redaction

March, 2003.

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