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Dulcia Domestica (Honeyed Dates)
Arwen Southernwood

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Original Recipe


Apicius, #294
Little home confections (which are called dulciaria) are made thus:  Little palms or (as they are ordinarily called) dates are stuffed – after the seeds have been removed – with a nut or with nuts and ground pepper, sprinkled with salt on the outside and are candied in honey and served.  [Vehling, pp. 172-3]



32 whole dates, pitted
32 almonds
1 tablespoon black pepper, ground (or a mixture of strong spices) 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup honey

Preparation Steps

Roll almonds in spices to coat them.  Stuff one spiced almond into each date.  Spread the dates on a greased cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt, then drizzle with honey.  Bake in a 400 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes.  Serve warm, if possible. 

Number of Servings

16 servings (2 dates each)

Redaction Notes

Edwards suggests that Apicius may have used the word “pepper” to include any strong spice, such as cinnamon or nutmeg, hence the suggested substitution of those spices for the pepper.  I have used a number of different combinatoins, including (most recently) a poudre fort containing black pepper, long pepper, cloves, and nutmeg.


  • Edwards, John.  Roman Cookery:  Elegant and Easy Recipes from History’s First Gourmet.  Revised edition.  Hartley & Marks, Ltd. Washington, 1986.  ISBN 0-88179-011. 
  • 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

First redaction circa November 1996(?).

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