Crystal King

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Crystal King is the author of THE CHEF'S SECRET and FEAST OF SORROW. A culinary enthusiast and social media professional, her writing is fueled by a love of history and a passion for the food, language and culture of Italy. She has taught classes in writing, creativity and social media at Harvard Extension School, Boston University, Mass College of Art, UMass Boston and GrubStreet, one of the leading creative writing centers in the US. A Pushcart-nominated poet and former co-editor of the online literary arts journal Plum Ruby Review, Crystal received her M.A. in Critical and Creative Thinking from UMass Boston, where she developed a series of exercises and writing prompts to help fiction writers in medias res. She resides in Boston.

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Crystal King I have a self-built-in mechanism for escaping reality. Also, there is the sense of agency that the characters sometimes have. There is nothing more wo…moreI have a self-built-in mechanism for escaping reality. Also, there is the sense of agency that the characters sometimes have. There is nothing more wondrous (and sometimes alarming) than the feeling of pulling away from the page and being shocked that your characters decided to do what they did. I love that feeling.(less)
Crystal King My second novel is about a Renaissance chef, Bartolomeo Scappi. He was a famous Italian cook who served several Popes during the height of the Renaiss…moreMy second novel is about a Renaissance chef, Bartolomeo Scappi. He was a famous Italian cook who served several Popes during the height of the Renaissance, approximately 1500-1577. He was one of the most celebrated chefs in all of Italy and he wrote one of the most famous cookbooks of the 16th century, The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi. From him we have some of the earliest pasta recipes, the first known drawing of a fork, and a full description, for the first time, of how the Papal Conclave is served food when sequestered. He also shares some of the first recipes with ingredients from the new world, including turkey! The novel has two love stories including one incredible hidden affair, a mystery, several dramatic deaths and sooooo much food. (less)
Average rating: 4.07 · 1,698 ratings · 437 reviews · 2 distinct worksSimilar authors
Feast of Sorrow: A Novel of...

4.10 avg rating — 1,115 ratings — published 2017 — 12 editions
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The Chef's Secret

4.02 avg rating — 583 ratings — published 2019 — 9 editions
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Sauce for mushrooms - An ancient Roman Recipe from Apicius

Sauce for mushrooms - An ancient Roman Recipe from Apicius

This is one of the very first recipes that I made when I first started diving into the cookbook Apicius as part of my research for FEAST OF SORROW. It calls for caroneum which is a bit tricky to know exactly what it might have tasted like but it was a reduced grape syrup of some sort. I recommend that you substitute sapa (sometimes called saba) or vincotto, which are essentially just different

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Published on October 15, 2020 07:00

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The Chef's Secret by Crystal King
"A Secret Everyone Should Know

A delicious romp through Renaissance Rome, Crystal King's A CHEF'S SECRET is everything that a great dish should be: assembling the very best ingredients, it is prepared with skill and care and presented with panache.

Spr" Read more of this review »
More of Crystal's books…
“While Apicius is full of ancient delicacies such as roasted peacock, boiled sow vulva, testicles, and other foods we would not commonly eat today, there are many others that are still popular, including tapenade, absinthe, flatbreads, and meatballs. There is even a recipe for Roman milk and egg bread that is identical to what we call French toast. And, contrary to popular belief, foie gras was not originally a French delicacy. The dish dates back twenty-five hundred years, and Pliny credits Apicius with developing a version using pigs instead of geese by feeding hogs dried figs and giving them an overdose of mulsum (honey wine) before slaughtering them.”
Crystal King, Feast of Sorrow: A Novel of Ancient Rome

“She moved closer to me. I put my arm around her, marveling at the smoothness of her skin.
"Thrasius..."
"Passia?"
She paused, and I realized that she was gathering her courage to speak. "That night, in your cubiculum, I..."
I took her hands and held them together between my own. "It's all right, Passia. You don't have to say anything."
"You surprised me," she blurted out.
"I surprised myself. It took everything I had not to keep you there with me."
She leaned forward until our faces were close. "I know."
There was nothing to do but kiss her, with all the passion I had harbored from the moment when she first appeared in the kitchen on the day of my arrival. Her lips were soft, and sweet like fresh Iberian honey. I ran my hands along her back and up into the tangle of her hair. My thumbs stroked the flesh of her neck and cheeks, and when they pulled away, her lips.
We fell into the sand, twining together our summer-tanned limbs. Our hands roamed up and down the length of each other, slowly removing each article of clothing. I delighted in feeling the way the measure of my passion made my skin tingle with desire from head to toe.
"Apicius always says you are the answer to his prayers. I think he is wrong. I think you are the answer to mine," she whispered in my ear before I entered her and we both cried aloud. The sound was washed away by the crash of waves beyond us.”
Crystal King, Feast of Sorrow: A Novel of Ancient Rome

“If you had any ingredients at your disposal, what would you make?"
"You said it was a small dinner?"
"Yes," he affirmed.
"In that case, I would begin with a gustatio of salad with peppers and cucumbers, melon with mint, whole-meal bread, soft cheese, and honey cake." I tried to draw on my memory of one of the last meals I'd made for Maximus.
Apicius licked his lips. "Yes, yes, go on."
"Then pomegranate ice to cleanse the palate, followed by a cena prima of saffron chickpeas, Parthian chicken, peppered morels in wine, mussels, and oysters. If I had more time, I would also serve a stuffed suckling pig. And to close, a pear patina, along with deep-fried honey fritters, snails, olives, and, if you have it on hand, some wine from Chios or Puglia."
"Perfect. Simple and the flavors would blend nicely at the beginning of the meal.”
Crystal King, Feast of Sorrow: A Novel of Ancient Rome

Topics Mentioning This Author

“It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.”
Andy Warhol

“I don't know much about being a millionaire, but I'll bet I'd be darling at it.”
Dorothy Parker

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan

“A word after a word after a word is power.”
Margaret Atwood

“Our lips just trespassed on those inner labyrinths hidden deep within our ears, filled them with the private music of wicked words, hers in many languages, mine in the off color of my own tongue, until as our tones shifted, and our consonants spun and squealed, rattled faster, hesitated, raced harder, syllables soon melting with groans, or moans finding purchase in new words, or old words, or made-up words, until we gathered up our heat and refused to release it, enjoying too much the dark language we had suddenly stumbled upon, craved to, carved to, not a communication really but a channeling of our rumored desires, hers for all I know gone to Black Forests and wolves, mine banging back to a familiar form, that great revenant mystery I still could only hear the shape of, which in spite of our separate lusts and individual cries still continued to drive us deeper into stranger tones, our mutual desire to keep gripping the burn fueled by sound, hers screeching, mine – I didn’t hear mine – only hears, probably counter-pointing mine, a high-pitched cry, then a whisper dropping unexpectedly to practically a bark, a grunt, whatever, no sense any more, and suddenly no more curves either, just the straight away, some line crossed, where every fractured sound already spoken finally compacts into one long agonizing word, easily exceeding a hundred letters, even thunder, anticipating the inevitable letting go, when the heat is ultimately too much to bear, threatening to burn, scar, tear it all apart, yet tempting enough to hold onto for even one second more, to extend it all, if we can, as if by getting that much closer to the heat, that much more enveloped, would prove … - which when we did clutch, hold, postpone, did in fact prove too much after all, seconds too much, and impossible to refuse, so blowing all of everything apart, shivers and shakes and deep in her throat a thousand letters crashing in a long unmodulated fall, resonating deep within my cochlea and down the cochlear nerve, a last fit of fury describing in lasting detail the shape of things already come.
Too bad dark languages rarely survive.”
Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves

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Carol Cork *Young at Heart Oldie* Thank you for the friend invite and for following my reviews, Crystal.


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