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Recipes, cooking techniques, meal presence and presentations varied according to culture and cuisine.

In the cradles of civilization (Mediterranean region including Ancient Rome, Greece, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Arabia) the primary fat was olive oil.

Moreover, there are several editions of ancient texts and recipe numbers/titles do not always match.

[2] Experimenting with this formula, we have adhered to the instructions as closely as possible, using regular pie dough to envelope the parboiled meat.

The figs were retired from the sauce pan long before the meat was done and they were served around the ham as a garnish.] Compare with this Latin text, English translation and modern instructions: "Pernam, ubi eam cum caricis plurimis elixa veris et tribus lauri foliis, detracta cute tessellatim indicis et melle complebis.

But those were flat affairs, since olive oil was used as the fat in the pastry and will not produce upstanding pies; pastry made with olive oil is 'weak' and readily slumps." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, 2nd edition, Tom Jaine editor [Oxford University Press: Oxford] 2006 (p.

603) Ancient Roman recipes "[287] [Baked picnic] Ham [Pork Shoulder, fresh or cured] Pernam The hams should be braised with a good number of figs and some three laurel leaves; the skin is then pulled off and cut into square pieces; these are macerated with honey. [1] Lay the dough over or around the ham, stud the top with the pieces of the skin so that they will be baked with the dough [bake slowly] and when done, retire from the oven and serve.

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