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Rome Reports

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Restaurant Serves Recipes From The Time Of Saint Paul

Marina PernaChef of La RegolaThese recipes are taken from perhaps the first cook book written. It was written by Apicio who narrates the recipes that were most popular from 2nd century B.C. to the 1st century A.D.The quaint restaurant is in front of the church San Paolo alla Regola. It was built on the spot where Saint Paul used to live. It?s quite possible Saint Paul set foot on what today is La Regola, serving up the food he ate 2,000 years ago.Marina PernaChef of La RegolaWe chose to cook these dishes because this is what simple people ate. These are simple humble recipes like those from the period and life of Saint Paul. A fancy Roman recipe from Saint Paul?s time would require spices and animals extinct today. Many recipes in Apicios ancient cookbook are so impossible to cook, and the ingredients hard to find.Marina PernaChef of La RegolaWell, yeah, there are very strange things in Apicio?s kitchen. He has a recipe for flamingo for example. An animal that is protected today and we just can?t use. But there are some ingredients that, although rare, are still available like Garum. This macerated fish oil was the number 1 ingredient in all Roman cooking from Saint Paul?s time.Marina PernaChef of La RegolaThe Garum has an incredibly violent taste, it is not very good at all. But if you use it in moderation it has a good flavour. But if we use it today like they did back then we wouldn?t even taste it ever again, absolutely not, we would be disgusted. This ancient Pauline menu starts with a cheese and focaccia appetizer, lentil soup and a meatball and peas main course all cooked with Garum. For dessert, Saint Paul delighted his taste buds with a fried milk dough treat before preaching the Word of God in this very place.