I got a wonderful gift from a friend in California who knows how much I like food, cooking, reading, and herbs–a book–real hard-copy–on Ancient Herbs by Marina Heilmeyer.
This is a look at the plants found in ancient Greek and especially Roman kitchen and pleasure gardens, for medicinal and culinary use complete with the mythological, religious, and culinary significance.
The illustrations themselves are wonderful–taken from early nineteenth century botanical works. The author also includes quotations from ancient writings describing uses of these herbs in that era–some peculiar and some still current.
It’s not a cookbook, but while reading, I’ve found some combination that I do want to try: such as the combination of anise and pork from Apicus, the Roman gastronome. Although the book does not give recipes, I see many wonderful culinary experiments coming out of this book.