Today I have two copies of Mark Grant’s book on Roman cookery to give-away. I used this excellent book on researching the food eaten by my characters in my novel Roman Mask. Roman cookery is so intriguing because it is both so similar to our modern palettes, but also subtlety different. The Romans were of course famous for lavish banquets, but Mark Grant focuses on what the normal people ate, rather than the over-indulgence of the few. His recipes come from ancient writings and he attributes each source for each of the dishes. The Romans used herbs and strong flavours and you can see the origins of the Mediterranean diet that we know today. Having an authentic meal in a book is a great way to set a scene and instill a particular mood, and I found this book incredibly useful in my research. It also comes in handy if you want to host a dinner party that has a unusual edge. All his recipes can be compiled by gathering commonly bought ingredient’s today – so don’t worry, you want be confronted with a dish of marinated dormice for instance. However, there will be a few staple ingredients that won’t be there, as they only came into our diets after the discovery of the new world – so don’t expect any potatoes, tomatoes, peppers or chilies.
If you want the chance to win a copy of this book, simply post in the comment field the word ‘Hungry’ and next week I will draw two names out of the hat. The offer is open to everyone wherever you live in the world, as long as you have a postal address I can send the book to.