Tag Archives: Greek

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Imperial Roman Honey-Spiced Wine

spiced wineIn yesterday’s blog post we told you about the recent discovery of one of the oldest and largest wine cellars in the world belonging to Canaanites living in north Israel around 1700 BCE. So today we’ve decided to share an ancient wine recipe that you can make to keep in your own wine cellar.

Spiced wine dates back to ancient Egypt, circa 3150 BCE, when it was made mainly for medicinal purposes and as a necessary menu item in the afterlife. The recipe often included pine resin, figs, and herbs like balm, coriander, mint and sage.[1] Several jars of up to five different types of wine were placed in the tombs of pharaohs and other royals.[2] Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Ancient Greek Baklava

The holiday season is upon us and sweets are everywhere. Whether it’s cookies, cupcakes or candy, everyone enjoys indulging his or her sweet tooth. This season, celebrate the past and stand out from the crowd with a delicious ancient recipe.

Gastrin-Ancient-Version-of-BaklavaBaklava is a popular dish originally made in the former Ottoman Empire that can also be found in Central and Southwest Asia. While you may have enjoyed a slice of this sweet, rich pastry in a local Greek or Turkish restaurant, you probably haven’t tasted baklava made the ancient Greek way. This recipe is a version of baklava called gastrin, or γάστριν in Greek. It contains the mix of ingredients that distinguishes its layered flavor. Continue reading

Guardians of the “Gate to Hell” Discovered Just in Time for Halloween

courtesy of Jim Pennucci

Image courtesy of Jim Pennucci

During the coming weeks, people around the world will celebrate the supernatural and pay respects to the spirit world on holidays such as Halloween, El Dia de los Muertos, the Obon Festival and the Teng Chieh festival.  While holidays arose for different reasons, they each have a connection to the “other side” where the spirits of those who have gone before still dwell.  And now, almost as if on cue, a group of Italian archaeologists has announced an exciting discovery at the ancient “Gate to Hell,” reminding us that our fascination with the afterlife is nothing new. Continue reading

Ancient Graffiti: From Pompeii to Smyrna

Image courtesy of DHA

Image courtesy of DHA

We’ve talked a lot about ancient graffiti in our blog posts and it has always been about the ancient Roman city of Pompeii.  In “Wall Posts: Putting Pompeii’s Political Graffiti in a Modern Context” we discussed how politicians campaigned using graffiti on the walls of wealthy homeowners and in “Super Bowl XLVII and the Superstars of Ancient Rome” we explained how people could find a favorite gladiator advertising olive oil or his latest fight on the walls of the city.  Recently, an archaeological dig unearthed a collection of graffiti that may be even richer than that of Pompeii.  Archaeologists working in the agora (ancient marketplace) of Izmir -or Greek Smyrna- found the “richest Greek graffiti collection in the world” dating back to the 2nd and 4th centuries A.D.  Continue reading