Agape Meal

Bread and wine — the main elements of the meal — are at the head of the table for the blessings which begin the DIDACHE liturgy, prior to being sent down for distribution among the guests. The dishes served, duplicated at either end of the table, were (from the center, and moving towards the camera): PATINA DE ASPARAGIS FRIGIDA (in the center; an egg-custard of asparagus juice and white wine with pepper); LIBVM (a substantial cheesecake baked on fresh bay leaves); ESICIA AMVLATA (poached quenelles of spiced minced chicken served with a thick dipping sauce based on chicken stock flavored with leeks, dill, and celery seed); OFELLÆ OSTIENSES, roasted gobbets of marinated pork served with a dipping sauce based on fish sauce and sweet wine flavored with lovage and pepper); two different MORETA (compounds of cheese, herbs, and spices); the one on this end of the table one from Columela's book on farming (based on cow's milk cheese, pine nuts, cilantro, parsley, and various spices and herbs), the one at the other from a poem previously attributed to Virgil (based on sheep's milk cheese, garlic, cilantro, celery leaf, and rue); OLIVÆ MIXTÆ (ancient varieties: Kalamata; Gaeta; and Sicilian). Three varieties of breads were offered: (PANIS CAPADOCIANVS ("modern" wheat with goat's milk, from Athenæus) baked as PANES QUADRATÆ; PANIS RVSTICVS (emmer wheat with gith, poppy, and celery seeds from Pliny's HISTORIA NATVRALIS); and STREPTIKIOS ARTOS ("twist bread" of durum wheat with goat's milk, olive oil, and pepper glazed with pepper and honey, from Athenæus); the wines were, for a white, Retsina; and for red, Primitivo di Puglia and — although it was never broached — Sangiovese, an equally ancient varietal; most diners preferred the white). All the cooking and dining implements are accurate replicas from the 1-2C AD...save the diner's plates: it had never been necessary to serve ancient food to so many before this meal!

Bread and wine — the main elements of the meal — are at the head of the table for the blessings which begin the DIDACHE liturgy, prior to being sent down for distribution among the guests. The dishes served, duplicated at either end of the table, were (from the center, and moving towards the camera): PATINA DE ASPARAGIS FRIGIDA (in the center; an egg-custard of asparagus juice and white wine with pepper); LIBVM (a substantial cheesecake baked on fresh bay leaves); ESICIA AMVLATA (poached quenelles of spiced minced chicken served with a thick dipping sauce based on chicken stock flavored with leeks, dill, and celery seed); OFELLÆ OSTIENSES, roasted gobbets of marinated pork served with a dipping sauce based on fish sauce and sweet wine flavored with lovage and pepper); two different MORETA (compounds of cheese, herbs, and spices); the one on this end of the table one from Columela’s book on farming (based on cow’s milk cheese, pine nuts, cilantro, parsley, and various spices and herbs), the one at the other from a poem previously attributed to Virgil (based on sheep’s milk cheese, garlic, cilantro, celery leaf, and rue); OLIVÆ MIXTÆ (ancient varieties: Kalamata; Gaeta; and Sicilian). Three varieties of breads were offered: (PANIS CAPADOCIANVS (“modern” wheat with goat’s milk, from Athenæus) baked as PANES QUADRATÆ; PANIS RVSTICVS (emmer wheat with gith, poppy, and celery seeds from Pliny’s HISTORIA NATVRALIS); and STREPTIKIOS ARTOS (“twist bread” of durum wheat with goat’s milk, olive oil, and pepper glazed with pepper and honey, from Athenæus); the wines were, for a white, Retsina; and for red, Primitivo di Puglia and — although it was never broached — Sangiovese, an equally ancient varietal; most diners preferred the white). All the cooking and dining implements are accurate replicas from the 1-2C AD…save the diner’s plates: it had never been necessary to serve ancient food to so many before this meal!