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Roman recipes
Globuli (Curds with honey)

Two good recipes for Globuli, a bit similar, but I liked what and how they said it. I copied both and credited both — so hate me. Visit their websites and let them know if you like this.

recipe and text from the AntiquityNOW website.
Cool stuff be there!

Globuli may not sound like the most appetizing food, but chances are you’ve already tried and fallen in love with a version of these fried cheese curds at a state fair or other festival. Before we get down to the business of cooking, here’s a brief history lesson on globuli.

Petronius, a Roman courtier in the first century CE, wrote that the students of his day “learn nothing but, ‘melitos verborum globulos et omnia dicta factaque quasi papavere et sesamo sparsa,’ which in English is, ‘honey-sweetened round globs of words and all things said and done as if sprinkled with poppy seed and sesame seed’.” Apparently, this insult made perfect sense to Romans because students were familiar with the delicious fried food called globuli.

Today, cheese curds are enjoyed all over the world, but are especially important in the midwestern and northeastern United States, where state fairs abound with all things fried. Go anywhere in Michigan or Wisconsin and you’ll find the cheese curds of your dreams. They don’t just fry up cheese curds, they perfect them. Thankfully, you don’t need to live in a high volume cheese curd area to enjoy this ancient snack. We’re bringing the recipe straight to you. So have a go and fry up a whole batch. Bet you can’t have just one! (We apologize to potato chip devotees for that quip.)

Original recipe:

Translation: Curds are made like this: pour honey into some milk, squeeze it out, put in a bowl and leave it to thicken. If you have a fine sieve to hand, turn the bowl into this, and allow the whey to run off. And when you think it has thickened, take away the bowl and place the curds on a silver dish, and the pattern of the sieve will be on top. But if you do not have any sieves, use new fans, with which the fire is fanned; for they do the same job.


  • Curd cheese, 500 g or about 1 lb
  • A cup of semolina
  • Honey
  • Olive oil


  • Drain the curd cheese. Use a sieve or colander, or let it hang in cheese cloth, or squash excess moisture out any way that suits you
  • Mix with the semolina into a loose dough and let it sit for a few hours.
  • With wet hands, form the mixture into dumplings.
  • Quickly fry dumplings in olive oil for a few minutes.
  • Drain and roll in honey.

Globuli Recipe 2

recipe and text from the Ancient Foods Today! website

globuliHere we are inspired by a reference in the beginning of what we have of Petronius. He says that students in school learn nothing but, "melitos verborum globulos et omnia dicta factaque quasi papavere et sesamo sparsa" which in english is, "honey-sweetened round globs of words and all things said and done as if sprinkled with poppy seed and sesame seed." Awesomely, there is a recipe for globuli in Cato's wonderful book on farming in section 79. Now this recipe calls for cheese mixed with flour, fried in lard and stirred with two wooden sticks and then sprinkled with honey and poppy seeds!


  • Ricotta
  • Flour (I recommend toasting your own barley and grinding it with a mortar and pestle, but I will cover this in another post)
  • olive oil
  • 2 chopsticks
  • honey
  • poppy seed


  • Mix the ricotta with flour until it is still enough to form balls. It does not take too much.
  • Modern Italians put an egg in. Ancient Romans, well at least Cato, do not.
  • Heat the olive oil in a pan—although Cato does specify lard ... I like my cheese fried in olive oil.
  • Form the cheese mixture into small balls and drop into the hot oil.
  • Periodically turn the globuli using the wooden sticks.
  • When beautiful and brown, remove from oil onto a plate and then while still hot...
  • drizzle honey over it and sprinkle poppy seeds.
  • Eat!

Whoa, these are awesome! So, no balls of words lacking all nutrition instead of a good wholesome dinner, you! But, enjoy this wonderful dessert, or as a nice afternoon snack perhaps with a glass of moscato.

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