Let’s learn history in the kitchen! The ricotta globuli of the ancient Romans


By Daniela

There is no better way to learn history that to involve all senses, especially taste and smell. Sometimes thousands years old recipes can be pleasantly surprising as it is the case of this ancient Romans dessert: ricotta dumplings (globuli) with honey, simple to make and delicious.

The original version of the recipe had the globuli fried in olive oil. But I think they taste even better when baked in the oven. Obviously this recipe does not contain sugar, because the Romans did not know it.


Ingredients for about 40 globuli:


  • 500 g of ricotta,
  • 180 g of semolina,
  • 2 tablespoons honey,
  • a pinch of salt;
  • bay leaves, liquid honey.




Mix the ricotta with the semolina, honey and salt and let it stay in the fridge for a few hours. The dough will look compact and easy to work. Shape into (not too small) balls and cook in preheated oven at 180 degrees for about 10 minutes or until they are golden brown. Arrange on a platter covered with bay leaves and drizzle with liquid honey.


Table Manners!


Before sitting the Romans took off their sandals and had the slaves wash their feet and hands. Of course we talk about the rich Romans who were invited to banquets of their (just as well off) friends. The Romans did not use forks (which will not be used in Europe until the eighteenth century), so they had to wash their hands constantly. For this reason on the table stood bowls with water and rose petals.

There was no tablecloth, but each guest brought his napkin from home, in which he could wrap the remains of dinner, if he wanted to.

The meat bones were thrown to the servants. Erupting was considered very polite and it was a way to tell the landlord that a guest had enjoyed the meal.

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