Ten useful things you can learn by reading De Agri Cultura by Cato the Elder:
- The best type of soil in which to plant different varieties of figs (chapter 8)
- How to prepare feed for cattle (chapter 54)
- That you should have as many carts as you have teams (chapter 62)
- Smear your oxen's feet with melted pitch to prevent them from being worn down (chapter 72)
- How to bake a cheesecake (chapter 84)
- The many uses of amurca (the watery residue left when the oil is drained from the crushed olives) (chapters 91-103)
- How to prepare a wine that acts as a laxative (chapter 115)
- A remedy for dyspepsia and strangury (the frequent need to urinate, even when the bladder is empty) (chapter 127)
- What prayers should be said to purify your farmland (chapter 141)
- That it is the cabbage which surpasses all other vegetables (chapter 156-7)
Today's list is for roseability_, who wanted to see cheesecake mentioned in a list.
Cheesecake is one of the oldest known desserts. How old? As indicated above, Cato the Elder included a recipe for cheesecake (which he calls savillum) in De Agri Cultura, which was written around 150 B.C. The recipe is as follows:
Take 1/2 pound of flour, 2 1/2 pounds of cheese, and mix together as for the libum; add 1/4 pound of honey and 1 egg. Grease an earthenware dish with oil. When you have mixed thoroughly, pour into a dish and cover with a crock. See that you bake the centre thoroughly, for it is deepest there. When it is done, remove the dish, cover with honey, sprinkle with poppy-seed, place back under the crock for a while, then remove from the fire. Serve in the dish, with a spoon.
Doesn't sound too appealing to me, I'd rather have a big slice of it than a case of strangury.