The Blog

- - in Olive Oil

This recipe is translated and adapted from Apicius’ book De Re Coquinaria

(on cooking).


1 large duck

pinch of peppercorns

1 tsp dried onion

large pinch of lovage (or young celery leaves)

pinch of cumin

pinch of celery seeds

70g stoned damsons (or prunes)

50 ml Mulsum (honey wine, made by adding half a cup of honey to a bottle of dry

white wine)

50 ml red wine vinegar

50 ml Liquamen (this is fish sauce, the closest modern equivalent being Thai

Nam Pla)

50 ml Defritum (thick fig syrup or young white wine or grape juice sweetened with

honey and heated to reduce it to a third of its volume)

200g flour

olive oil


Make a batter from the flour and enough olive oil to bind the flour together.

Season this with salt and pepper and use to entirely cover the duck in a layer of

pastry. Place in a roasting tin and roast for 2 hours at 170°C.

Meanwhile place all the herbs in a mortar and grind with a pestle. To this add

the Mulsum, red wine vinegar, Liquamen, Defritum and 30 ml of

olive oil. Mix together and place in a pan. Add the chopped damsons and cook until

they are tender.

Strain the sauce and pour over slices of the duck. Serve immediately.

Roman Duck and Damson Sauce Recipe

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