These stuffed dates are a quick and easy thing to make for any Roman Feast. The recipe was written by Apicius, who wrote a cookery book in Latin some time between 300-400AD.
You will need:
- Dried dates
- Some nuts – walnuts and almonds work very well
- Some chopped pistachios or pine nuts to decorate.
Firstly, pull the dates apart and remove the stone from the middle. Put an almond or walnut piece where the stone used to be. Put the dates onto a piece of baking tray or heat proof dish.
Next put the honey into a pan and heat it on a stove. Let the honey boil for a few minutes until it has reduced by half. You will need to get an adult to do this bit as the honey will get very hot. Take the honey off the heat and let it cool slightly before pouring it over the dates. Sprinkle the dates with a pinch of salt before the honey sets.
Warning: do not touch the dates until they have completely cooled. The honey will look and smell very tempting, but will still be very hot.
Sprinkle some chopped nuts over the dates before serving (optional). These would probably have been served as a dessert at a Roman feast along with fresh fruit like apples, pears and grapes, some nuts and cheese.
Why not invite your family to your Roman meal? You could lounge on some cushions on the floor while you eat with your fingers. You could get some entertainment too – how about reciting some poetry, watching some gladiators sparring, or just have a philosophical conversation about the meaning of life?