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Hit-Or-Miss

5 Disgusting Recipes From The First Ever Celebrity Cookbook

Gordon Ramsay would blush

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Long before the introduction of the tomato to Europe, Italy had a reputation for being a gourmand’s paradise. One of the most important sources for understanding ancient epicures is the collection of recipes known as Apicius de re coquinaria (roughly, Apicius on cooking). Apicius, a wealthy Roman of the 1st century C.E. who reputedly killed himself rather than eat cheaper food once he ran out of money, has gone down in history as the first celebrity chef. It’s unlikely, however, that he personally wrote any of the recipes in the collection, which probably dates to three centuries after Apicius’ untimely demise.

Many of Apicius’ recipes remain appetizing today (I recently helped Leftovers History select and research one tasty example). But others are better left to the dustbin of history. Here are 5 Apician recipes that we’d rather not try.

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via Wikimedia

1. To Improve a Broth

If your reaction to noticing that your soup has spoiled to the degree that it stinks is to dump a bunch of spices in it and then serve it to your friends, please let me know so I can never ever eat at your house.

If a broth has contracted a bad odor, place a vessel upside-down and fumigate it with laurel and cypress and before ventilating it, pour the broth in this vessel. If this does not help matters and if the taste is too pronounced, add honey and fresh spikenard to it; that will improve it.

2. Vegetable and Brain Pudding

There’s nothing wrong with eating organ meat, and I’m not even a particularly picky eater. But 5-year-old me would have had a hell of a tantrum if my mom decided to serve this dish for dinner.

Take vegetables, clean and wash, shred and cook them, cool them off and drain them. Take 4 calf’s brains, remove strings and cook them in the mortar. Put 6 scruples (a type of measure) of pepper, moisten with broth and crush fine; then add the brains, rub again and meanwhile add the vegetables, rubbing all the while, and make a fine paste of it. Thereupon break and add 8 eggs. Now add a glassful of broth, a glassful of wine, a glassful of raisin wine, taste this preparation. Oil the baking dish thoroughly and place it in the oven and when it is done sprinkle with pepper and serve.

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via Wikimedia

3. For Birds that Smell Strongly

There’s some scholarly debate over what “goatish” means in this recipe—is it just birds with a gamey flavor? Many Classicists, however, think that this recipe told cooks how to cover up the stench of rotting fowl. 

For birds of all kinds that have a goatish smell, add pepper, lovage, thyme, dry mint, sage, dates, honey, vinegar, wine, broth, oil, reduced must, mustard. The birds will be more luscious and nutritious, and the fat preserved, if you envelop them in a dough of flour and oil and bake them in the oven. Alternately, stuff the inside with crushed fresh olives, sew them up, and thus cook, then retire the cooked olives.

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via Wikimedia

4. To Make Spoiled Honey Good as New

Honey can actually stay good for a crazy long time, but you really don’t want to mess around with it when things go wrong.

How bad honey may be turned into a saleable article is to mix one part of the spoiled honey with two parts of good honey.

5. To Clarify Muddy Wine

No thanks, I’m good.

Put bean meal and the whites of three eggs in a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with a whip and add to the wine, stirring for a long time. The next day the wine will be clear.

Written by Caroline Wazer // History Buff // Recipes adapted from Joseph Dommers Vehling’s 1926 translations // Feature image via Wikimedia

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Hit-Or-Miss

Here’s How Soda is Killing Your Teeth Softly [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Remember all the times you lied to promised your dentist that you were definitely going to start flossing, bathe your mouth in fluoride, and absolutely, 100% for sure stop drinking soda . . . only to grab a large Coke the next time you hit the McDonald’s drive thru? Cause let’s be real: Coke is delicious, your teeth have always been there, and if they can handle jawbreakers and super tough beef jerky, surely they can handle a few cups of soda . . . right? Yeah, no, apparently not. Turns out that you might as well be punching yourself in the mouth every time you take a sip of soda (especially dark sodas like Coke) because the damage you’re doing to your teeth is less of a small-scale disagreement and more of a full-artillery assault on your enamel. And brushing your teeth right after you drink soda only makes it worse.

Check this infographic compiled by the teeth crusaders over at Biltmore Commons Dental for more information on the ways that soda is destroying your teeth, and some tips to avoid toothlessness while still enjoying your favorite carbonated beverages. Because compromise is always the answer.

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H/T Visual.ly

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Products

Sunrise Salad XL Dressing Dispenser

Finally! The laws of science working in harmony with technology! …at least when it comes to dressing your salad.

Taking advantage of the physical properties of Vinegar and Oil, the Salad Sunrise XL dispenser allows you to pour out each of the fluids from the same container. The Oil, being less dense rests at the top of the container and can be poured from the top spout while the denser Vinegar can be poured from the lower spout. For such a simple and elegant design, the Salad Sunrise XL manages to come in at a somewhat XL price for my tastes. You can buy one for about $79.

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Flo — Finely Adjustable Oil and Vinegar Flask

With the varying viscosities of olive oil and vinegar, the fact that they end up getting put into similar spouting containers can lead to problematic experiences while dressing your food. That’s where Flo steps in.

Oh crap I just made a swimming pool of olive oil!” or “Ewww my finger is all disgusting from my makeshift thumb spout!” — No more. The folks at Joseph Joseph have continued their design and problem-solving streak by creating flasks that can be finely adjusted whilst pouring. By depressing the large button on each cap, you’ll be able to control the flow as you pour.

The unit boasts an ergonomic design that is intuitive to hold and easy to clean, and comes complete with their own silicone coaster for organized storage. ($40 @ JosephJoseph)

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Cravings Sweets

Bacon Jam & Cheese Panini

The sheer amount of panini pressed sandwiches my friends and I have been swimming through recently would baffle you. If you haven’t invested in a press of your own (they’re cheap), you’re definitely blowing it on your crispy sandwich game. Even with all the crazy concoctions we’ve been cooking up, none have gotten as crazy as this: a Bacon Jam & Cheese Panini! What we’re looking at are small ciabatta rolls that have been pressed and stuffed with bacon jam and cheese. The bacon jam has a deep list of ingredients that include hickory-smoked bacon, garlic, vinegar, brown sugar, yellow onions, strong coffee and maple syrup.  Make sure to check out ThePerfectPantry to get the full recipe so you can replicate this dish in the privacy of your own house.

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Cravings

Mozzarella Bruschetta

These thing would go great with a bowl of pasta or just by themselves! Get some oil, tomatoes, basil, garlic, vinegar, sea salt and peppers and mix it up in a bowl and place it on a slice of ciabatta bread! Place a piece of mozzarella cheese and toast them in the oven to your preference! In the worlds of Rachael Ray “Yum-O”! (Thx FTLOC)

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Cravings

Craving: Baked Eggplant Bruschetta Salad

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Bruschetta is such a refreshing summer flavor, the perfect matching of tomato and basil. Mix that with some baked eggplant and you have one out of this world combo. Instead of stacking it up on bread, sweetbeetandgreenbean decided to cut up the bread and toss it together as a salad.

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Hit-Or-Miss

Pic of the Day: Barbecued Pork Burger with Slaw

‘Spicing up store-bought barbecue sauce with a touch of cayenne and a splash of vinegar is an easy trick that makes a big difference. Here, pork burgers get a triple hit of flavor: The sauce gets mixed into the meat, slathered onto the cooked burgers for the last minute of grilling, and brushed on the bun. A cabbage slaw with a creamy dressing tops them off with just the right crunch’.