All About History
a centurion’s favourite snack ancient rome, 4th century Bce
This Ancient Roman delicacy originates from Lucania, a region in the heel of southern Italy. The Lucanians were on-and-offagain allies with the Roman Republic, usually pledging fealty when a rival tribe threatened them. It’s believed legionaries returning from deployment in the region brought the recipe for this spicy smoked sausage back with them to the capital around 200 BCE. The first recorded mention of the sausages in Rome was in a 1st-century poem, with more frequent references, including recipes, dating from the 300s BCE.
Sausages — Lucanian or otherwise — were a cornerstone of a Roman centurion’s diet and their success on campaign has been party attributed to the food as it was nutritious, portable and kept even on the longest marches into enemy territory. Lucanian sausages were regularly eaten with spelt flour bread.
Ingredients Makes about 25 sausages
650g lean pork 6m sausage casings 550g lard 150g pine nuts 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns 3 tbsp garum (if you can’t find this, you can use fish sauce) 2 tsp salt 2 tsp curing salt
1 tbsp ground black pepper 1 tbsp ground cumin 1 tbsp ground bay leaves ½ tbsp dried savoury herbs
30g parsley 1 tbsp rue (ruta graveolens)