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Recipe for Gliris or Glis-Glis (Dormice)

By Apicius VIII, 10

Found this cool article for something that EVERYONE knows about but wouldn't try even if the main ingredient were readily available. I can't find the author's name, but he deserves the credit. Anyway, here is a good substitute! smiley

modern recipe intereptation from HubPages website

Not dormice, chicken drumsticks |A Dormouse is hard to come by these days. So, in this recipe, I marinate chicken drumsticks overnight and call them dormouse (Gliris).

The edible Dormouse was farmed and eaten by the ancient Romans, the Gauls, and the Etruscans (usually as a snack), hence the word edible in its name. The Romans would catch dormice from the wild in autumn when they were fattest. The dormice were kept and raised either in large pits or (in less spacious urban surroundings) in terra cotta containers, the gliraria, something like contemporary hamster cages.

Real DormouseThey fed these captive dormice walnuts, chestnuts, and acorns for fattening. The dormice were served by either roasting them and dipping them in honey or stuffing them with a mixture of pork, pine nuts, and other flavorings.It was, however, very important to upper-class Romans that the dormice be separated from other products of the hunt, like the large game, for presentation purposes.

To this day, wild edible dormice are consumed in Slovenia, where they are considered a rare delicacy and where dormouse trapping is an ethnic tradition.

Original recipe: Glires: isicio porcino, item pulpis ex omni membro glirium trito, cum pipere, nucleis, lasere, liquamine farcies glires, et sutos in tegula positos mittes in furnum aut farsos in clibano coques.

Translation: Pound with pepper, caraway, cumin, bay leaves, dates, honey, vinegar, wine, liquamen and olive oil, then roast.


  • 8 Chicken drumsticks
  • 1 cup plain all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika powder
  • tablespoon honey
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A little vegetable oil


  • Crush the cumin seeds using a mortar and pestle or equivalent
  • Put the flour in a plastic bag with the crushed cumin, bay leaves, caraway and paprika..
  • Lightly dab some vegetable oil on the drumsticks and toss them in the bag with the flour.
  • Drop the honey into the bag. Give it a swirl around and leave the bag in the fridge overnight so the flavours sink in.
  • Place the drumsticks in a lightly oiled baking pan and bake for 20 - 30 mins, or until a skewer pushed into the thickest part releases only clear juice.
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