The Delicious Legacy


Ancient Massalia and her foods

Season 2, Ep. 10

Today, we know this beautiful legendary city, as Marseilles.

It's the 2nd largest city in France and the most ancient one. And her foundations were laid thanks to ancient Greeks!


The mythical start of the city is told by Herodotus and Aristotle who give us some information and traces of truth through their stories about her establishment. But we will look into her ancient food traditions!

Wine! Grapes! Olives and Herbs! The Greeks brought a lot with them when settled in Massalia around 600 BCE.

The inland routes to reach northern Europe started here; the navigable rivers that led to the Atlantic, made the spot the city was built, ideal. The trade of tin and other goods was of outmost importance, and so was the necessity to avoid the conflicts with Carthaginians along the southern routes from Spain.

But let's go to the food.

Archestratus says:

Use all anchovies for manure, except
The Attic fish; I mean that useful seed
Which the Ionians do call the foam;
And take it fresh; just caught within the bays,
The sacred bays of beautiful Phalerum.
Good is it too, when by the sea-girt isle
Of Rhodes you eat it, if it's not imported.
And if you wish to taste it in perfection,
Boil nettles with it—nettles whose green leaves
On both sides crown the stem; put these in the dish
Around the fish, then fry them in one pan,
And mix in fragrant herbs well steep'd in oil.

How is the traditional Provençal dish "sartanado" connected with the above passage from Archestratus?

What is "myttotos"? What has in common with rouille? 

What does a recipe found in a papyri, has to do with the famous French bouillabaisse?

Which oysters the poet Ausonious things are the best?

These, and a lot more are answered in the episode today! 

Join me and enjoy the foods of Massalia!

The Delicious Legacy

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