This article first appeared in the inaugural issue of the beautiful food history publication, EATEN Magazine. If you love food and love reading about the fascinating...
This is, without a doubt, one of the easiest recipes you could ever try your hand at making. These cakes are still made in Egypt and Turkey, and have been around since early Greek and Roman times. You can find similar fig cakes sold at cheese shops and Whole Foods for ridiculously astronomical prices for what they are.
A 10th century encyclopedia, the Suda Lexicon, chronicles the ancient recipe as:
Palathai are cakes made of figs. And cakes of palasiai, that is of dried figs that have been squashed.
Palathai (fig cake)
- 14 oz. dried figs
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 tsp white flour (could use a gluten free flour if needed)
- 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
Remove any fig stalks and use a food processor (or blender) on the figs and honey until it forms a sticky paste. Take the paste in your hands and form a dense, round, flattened cake. Mix together the flour and coriander and dust the outside of the cake with the mixture. Cut into small wedges.
Leftovers wrapped in plastic will keep for a week.