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Film Released: 1960

Genre:  Adventure,  History,  Drama,  Romance
Starring:  Kirk Douglas,  Laurence Olivier,  Jean Simmons,  Peter Ustinov,  Tony Curtis
Directed by:  Stanley Kubrick

Spartacus (played by Kirk Douglas) is a Thracian who was born into slavery.  A routine visit to the quarry where he is working by Batiatus, a Gladiator trainer (played by Peter Ustinov),  results in  Spartacus being bought to be trained as a Gladiator. 


It is at the training school in Italy where he first comes across the beautiful Varinia, herself  a slave in the house of Batiatus who in return,  takes a shine to him. After weeks of training, Spartacus, incensed by the injustice of slavery,  increased by the knowledge that Varinia has been sold and that he'll never see her again,  leads the trainee gladiators in a rebellion and, killing many of the guards,  they all escape.


Their freedom takes on a life of its own and Spartacus and the other gladiators decide to march South to the sea where they all hope to get ships to their original homelands. Further still,  on their way they free as many slaves as they can and steal as many riches as they can from the slave-owners, culminating in a huge army of slaves making a bid for freedom.  Spartacus is also reunited with Varinia and they become lovers.


The Senators in Rome are furious that slaves should revolt in such a way, especially as many of their own estates have been pillaged, so they send armies to crush the rebellion, but to no avail.  In the end a huge army led by ex-senator Crassus (played by Laurence Olivier) defeats the slave army with dire consequences for the surviving male slaves who are crucified one by one because they refused to give Spartacus up,  with all of them shouting " I AM SPARTACUS! "  (an excellent scene).  Varinia doesn't escape either, as Crassus takes her to his own household, knowing she is the "wife" of Spartacus with some believing  that he is in love for the first time in his life.


The food aspect appears in a scene after the big battle at Crassus'  home where he is  with Varinia, and trying to be nice, though she has no time for him or his riches.

Crassus:  " Will you have some squab and honey? "
Varinia:   " No "
Crassus:   " You'll enjoy it.  And a piece of melon? And some wine, of course. . . . .eat. "


So, to our recipe. Firstly you may ask what is a squab?  we will tell you - it's a baby pigeon. Here's a recipe for squab cooked with honey...we suggest you have the melon as a starter and don't forget the wine.

Happy Cooking!


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Roast Squab with Honey   HT MC 50mins plus marinating


Serves 4    Hot  Poultry  Herbs   Main Course    Gluten Wheat Dairy free  Eggless


6 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
3 tbsp Honey
1 tbsp freshly chopped Thyme Leaves
Salt and Black Pepper

4 Prepared Squab - about 450g/1 lb each

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1. Place the vinegar, honey, thyme, salt and pepper  in a large mixing bowl and mix well. 


2. Rinse the squab under cold running water, pat dry then add to the honey mixture and turn to coat.  Cover with clingfilm and set aside for at least 30 minutes, turning from time to time.

3. After the marinating time, preheat the oven to 200C, 400F, Gas Mark 6. remove the squabs from the marinade, place in a roasting tin, breast side down, drizzle with the marinade  and bake for 20 minutes.

4.  Turn the squabs onto their back, baste well and continue to bake for a further 20 minutes.



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