Ancient Greek recipes- 1° part..

Athenian Cheese Cake
Archestratus wrote “Forget all other dessert, there is only one: the Athenian cheese cake with Attica honey from Hymettus.”

4 eggs, separated
12/ cup honey or sugar
1 lemon, juice and rind
1/2 cup flour
1 pond pot cheese
1 cup sour cream or yogurt
1 cup crumbs from zwiback rusks, cookies or graham crackers
1/4 cup ground walnuts or almonds
2 tablespons oil or butter

In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff (with a sprinkle of salt). In a blender blend yolks, honey, lemon juice, rind, floud and cheese for a few seconds. Fold batter into egg whites using spatula. Fold in sour cream. In a separate bowl mix crumbs and nuts together. Grease the bottom and sides of a large cake pan or spring-form cake pan. Spread crumbs over bottom and sides. Pour mixture in cake pan and bake at 180/200° for 45 minutes. Chill in cake pan 6 hours before cutting and serving.


“But in making the so-called artolaganon, a little wine, pepper, and milk are introduced, along with a small quantity of oil or lard. Similarly into kapyria, called by the Romans tracta, are put mixtures as into the wheat-wafer”

3 1/2 cups flour (350 g)
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lard
1/4 cup white wine (60 ml)
1/4 cup milk (60 ml)
pepper to taste

Put the flour in a bowl, mix in the salt, and make a well in the middle. Pour the yeast and water into the well, then mix gently. Transfer to a floured board and knead (flour hands frequently) until dough is compact, elastic, and smooth. Put the dough in an oiled bowl and let rise in a warm place. When it has doubled its volume (about 20-30 minutes), knead it and add the remaining ingredients mix evenly and add flour as needed. Set it to rise again (about 20 minutes). Punch it down an spread it evenly in an oiled rectangular pan; let it rise once more (about 20 minutes). When it has risen, cook it in a hot oven (250°) for about 20 minutes, or until done in the middle and golden brown on top.

The combination of honey and sesame was a common one and recurs in many guises, sometimes rolled in sesame and some-times in poppy seeds. This version derives from Athenaeus: ‘the soft dough is poured upon a frying pan and on it are spread honey, sesame and cheese’.
1 tablespoon honey
120gr plain flour
200ml water
pinch salt
oil for frying
toasted sesame seeds
Mix the honey, water and flour into a dough. Heat a pan then add a little oil. Add the dough a tablespoonful at a time and cook like a pancake on both sides.Spread with warmed cheese and honey then dredge with toasted sesame seeds.
from Athenaeus (3.110b).5 cups of flour (500 g)
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup sour milk (250 ml) (to make sour milk add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to milk and stir to blend)
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup warm water (250 ml)
1/4 cup olive oil (60 ml)

Mix the flour and salt, place in a mound and make a well in the center. Pour in the oil, sour milk, honey water and yeast. Work the dough in the normal manner (bring flour into wet ingredients slowly mixing with hands, then knead) until it is smooth and elastic. Place in a warm place protected from drafts for about two hours. Punch down and knead the risen dough again, and cut into 10 or 12 pieces. Roll each piece out with a rolling pin to make it round. Place on a well greased baking sheet in a warm spot to rise again (30-40 minutes). Finally, bake them for 20 minutes in a hot oven (200°).

The Roman Physician Galinos (129 – 99 ac) describes in his book this sweet with many details.
120 gr flour
225 ml water
2 spoons honey
Oil for frying
1 spoon (15 gr) baked sesame seeds
Mix the flour, the water and one spoon of honey and make a dough. Heat 2 spoons oil in a frying pan and pour ¼ of the mixture. When it thickens turn it upside down 2 -3 times to fry it in both sides. Prepare 3 more fritters following the given instructions. Serve them hot, pour over the rest of the honey and dredge sesame seeds over them.
Olive spread
This recipe is recorded by Cato and uses all the main flavourings of the time. Really fine on a piece of warm flatbread with some hummous like chickpea dip.
100gr pitted green olives
100gr pitted black olives
50ml olive oil
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
1 teaspoon each – crushed cumin seed, coriander seed then1 tablespoon chopped mint, rue and fennel leaves.
Archaic BreadThis ancient recipe is described by Athenaeus:

2 cups warm water or scalded milk cooled to lukewarm
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons barley meal
6 cups flour, barley or stone ground whole wheat

Mix all ingredients except flour into a 2 quart jar. Place jar in a pan of hot water and let stand in a warm place free of drafts until fermentation begins–aproximately twelve hours or more. Replace hot water every 4 hours. Mix in 2 cups of the flour. Set aside once again in a warm place. Replace hot water in pan. A sponge should be formed in 4 to 6 hours. Put 4 cups flour in a bowl, make a well, and add sponge. Kneed well, lightly dusting your hands with flour until dough is smooth. Shape and put into oiled loaf pan. Cover with damp towel and place in a draft-free place to rise for 4 to 6 hours. It will not rise as high as modern breads. Bake in preheated over at 250° for 10 minutes. Reduct to 200° 50 minutes.

Boned OystersThis recipe comes from Chares of Mytilene:

“Use only the large Asiatic oysters caught in the Indian Ocearn, Black Sea, or the Persian and Arabian gulfs. Use the delicious white meat only. Discard the round white bone sometimes discovered inside theshell–or give it to some Persian. They seem to prefer these bones to gold; they call them ‘pearls’.”

1 dozen oysters
1 cup flour
1/2 cup oil
salt and pepper to taste

Drain liquid from jar. Roll in flour. Heat it until hot in a large frying pan. Fry oysters on medium-high heat for 5 minutes turning over once. Sprinkle with seasonings and serve.

8 thoughts on “Ancient Greek recipes- 1° part..

  1. What exactly is pot cheese for the cheescake? 🙂

  2. I feel a need to make some of these recipes! That ancient cheesecake, for example! What a great post this is.

  3. seanmcdh says:

    thanks for sharing these! so awesome!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s