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“For spring the chromius is best;
The anthias in winter;
But of all the fish the daintiest
Is a young shrimp in fig leaves.”
— Ananius from The Deipnosophists

The first recipe I come across in our textbook, “The Delectable Past” by Esther B. Aresty is called Shrimp in Leaves. She writes that it’s much easier to come across grape leaves, but I rarely do anything the easy way, so I attempt to find fig leaves instead. Come on… I mean, grape leaves are easy enough to find– the ubiquitous dolmade, for example. Those little tasty bits of rice and herbs wrapped up in a brined grape leaf? But fig leaves, therein lies a challenge!

According to The Produce Hunter, “the fragrance of Fig Leaves is reminiscent of coconut.” This, my friends, would make a natural match for shrimp, yeah?


Raw jumbo shrimp, shelled and vein removed
Canned grape leaves (1 leaf per shrimp), or fresh fig leaves
A marinade of 2 parts vinegar to 1 part oil
(for 20 shrimp: 2 tablespoons oil and 4 tablespoons vinegar)
Pinch of oregano in the marinade

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