This recipe is based on Oribasius (Medical Compilations 1:64), who was a Greek medical writer in the 4th century CE and the personal physician of the Roman emperor Julian the Apostate.
On the citron.
There are three parts to this fruit: the acid part in the centre and the so-called ‘flesh’ around this and thirdly the covering that surrounds the outside. This latter part is sweet-smelling and aromatic, but difficult to digest; it is an aid to the digestion, if one uses it as a medicine, and it strengthens the stomach if taken in small amounts. People use the sharp and uneatable part after putting it in vinegar to make it still sharper. The part which is in between the other two, which gives nourishment to the body, is difficult to digest.
Greek text and translation is from Mark Grant, Dieting for an emperor: a translation of books 1 and 4 of Oribasius’ Medical compilations with an introduction and commentary.
- Kaufman, Cathy K. Cooking in Ancient Civilizations. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006, p. 176.
- Grant, Mark, ed. Dieting for an emperor: a translation of books 1 and 4 of Oribasius’ Medical compilations with an introduction and commentary. Vol. 15. Brill, 1997.
Preserved Etrog (Citron)
- 1 citron Etrog (Citron)
- 100 ml Wine Vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp Salt
- Take the citron and cut off its two ends.
- Peel the citron.
- Cut off the pith from the flesh in the center an slice it into small pieces.
- Sprinkle the cut up pith with salt.
- Place the cut up pith into a glass container. For one small citron you can use a 4 oz glass Mason jar with a lid.
- Pour the vinegar into the jar over the cut up citron pith and make sure the pith is fully submerged.
- Leave the citron pith to soak in vinegar for 3 weeks or until the pith significantly softens.
- After the pith becomes soft use it as seasoning for other dishes.