Page 126 - The Secrets Of Vinegar
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                          Les Secrets du Les du
             Vinegar: A Refreshing Beverage
The Romans made a bitter wine called posca with watered-down vinegar (prepared from sour wine spoiled by poor preservation), sometimes mellowed by adding egg yolk. Posca was given to slaves, the Roman army, and the lower classes, and was a popular beverage because it was a very effective thirst quencher. When a soldier gave it to someone who had been subjected to corporal punishment, or condemned to die, he was simply offering the victim his or her everyday beverage. It was a gesture of charity to relieve thirst and not intended to inflict more suffering on the condemned prisoner. In fact, Roman soldiers gave Jesus posca during his crucifixion. “Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, «I am thirsty.» A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.» John 19:28-29
During the reign of Claudius, Scribonius Largus assembled his own collection of recipes, Compositiones, in which he describes a dentifricium composed of barley flour, vinegar, burnt honey, mineral salt, and nard2 oil that he claimed would brighten teeth to a glimmering white and prevent them from falling out.
In Ancient Rome, a traditional meal usually started with eggs and ended with a serving of fruit. Romans were great aficionados of sweet-and-sour foods, and
2 Nard essential oil comes from Northern India and has been used for thousands of years for its therapeutic properties and as a perfume. It is an aromatic plant from the same family as valerian.

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