The Delicious Legacy

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The Mysterious Herb Sylphium

Season 1, Ep. 2

Hello! I'm Thom Ntinas and I delve into archaeogastronomy for reasons of greed (mainly!) but also curiosity about the foods of our ancestors, and how little or much our taste buds, ingredients and methods have changed, since the dawn of the civilisation!

Feasting was an important activity of the ancient Greeks and in general of all the Aegean societies and I believe in our modern day and age these activities are equally important especially when we spend so much of our time on our own without physical interaction with other human beings in any meaningful way.


I am not a trained cook/chef but I have worked for many years in kitchens -from my mums canteen at the Greek Telecommunications company in my hometown as a teenager- to the infamous Greek taverna of Bangor in north Wales while I was in university, studying Electronic Engineering!


In this second episode I am exploring the beginnings of the amazing and almost mythical in status, Sylphium! A herb that was extremely popular in the cuisine of ancient Greece and Rome, and made the Greek colony of Cyrene rich and powerful democracy with an important philosophy school too!

what did it taste like? How was it used? Can I use it in my recipes now ? All will be answered here!

I am talking briefly about a myriad other herbs and spices used in the ancient kitchen and also give you a couple of ancient recipes to play with. Enjoy!


With music by the marvellous Freddy Macha

@freddymacha

More music here: https://globalfusionmusicarts.bandcamp.com/album/freddy-macha-constipation


Further reading: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20170907-the-mystery-of-the-lost-roman-herb

https://fia.umd.edu/answer-an-important-plant-thats-now-extinct/

https://www.reddit.com/r/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/6gg0rr/what_exactly_was_the_ancient_plant_silphium/

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