|Taking the Show on the Road by Cooking for the Kids|
Our study of Christmas continues today with an ancient recipe for fruitcake. Fruitcakes are traditionally served during the Christmas season and so I decided to whip one up as a yuletide treat. It’s called Laganum Fructus which is Latin for Cake of Fruit or Cake with Fruit. Fruitcake was quite popular with the soldiers of Rome’s Legions. It was aged with wine and the alcohol preserved the cake and prevented spoilage. Consequently, a Legionnaire could pack his laganum fructus into his loculus, a traveling pack or duffel bag, and count on the cake keeping until he finished snacking on it.
There are two distinct styles of fruitcakes, cakey and fruity. The recipe definitely leans to the fruity side of things. That is, it’s a lot of fruit held together with a little bit of dough. The recipe for this fruitcake consisted of four primary ingredients: pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, dried fruits, and barley flour. The first hurdle you’ll encounter is how to soften pomegranate seeds to the point where they can be chewed without the risk of breaking a tooth. An easiest way is to circumvent this by substituting pomegranate juice, and that’s what the recipe I'll give you calls for.
|The Finished Product Ready for Aging|
|An Individual Laganum Fructus Wrapped and Basted|
|Our Laganum Fructus Aged and Sliced|