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Roman recipes:
Ova Spongia Ex Lacte
(Pancakes with milk)

Ova Spongia Ex Lacte (Pancakes with milk)

by Apicius VII, XIII, 8

Roman recipe for pancakes that could be eaten for dinner or dessert and has proven to be quite a challenge to create. Galen explores the nutritional properties of literal ‘pan-cakes’ (têganitai) in his On the Properties of Foodstuffs (De alimentorum facultatibus, 2nd century); yet, historic recipes for traditional pancakes are rare due to their simple set of ingredients and easy cooking instructions.

Original recipe: Oua quattuor, lactis heminam, olei unciam in se dissoluis, ita ut unum corpus facias. In patellam subtilem adicies olei modicum, facies ut bulliat, et adicies impensam quam parasti. Una parte cum fuerit coctum, in disco uertes, melle perfundis, piper adspargis et inferes.

Translation: Four eggs in half a pint of milk and an ounce of oil well beaten, to make a fluffy mixture; in a pan put a little oil, and carefully add the egg preparation, without letting it boil2 however. Place it in the oven to let it rise and when one side is done, turn it out into a service platter fold it pour over honey, sprinkle with pepper and serve.


  • 4 eggs
  • Cow's milk
  • Oil
  • Honey
  • Ground pepper


  • Mix eggs, milk and oil until you have a pancake dough.
  • Fry in a pan
  • Serve topped with honey and a little pepper.
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