By RasmaSandra
98 days ago

Eating Like the Romans

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The Romans generally ate one main meal a day, around sunset. Originally this was eaten around midday, preceded by a light meal, often just a piece of bread, early in the morning. This was called ientaculum(or breakfast). Supper or vesperna was a smaller meal in the evening. However, cena came to be taken later in the day, and eventually became the evening meal. Vesperna then disappeared and a light lunch, prandium, was introduced.

For the poor, most meals were cereal (porridge or bread) supplemented by meat and vegetables if available. For the more wealthy, the main meal was divided into three courses. The appetizer was usually eggs, raw vegetables, fish or shellfish, prepared simply, eaten with wine sweetened with honey. The main course consisted of cooked vegetables and meat (fish, game, poultry, pork), served with wine. This was followed by a sweet course or dessert, consisting of fruit or sweet pastries.

Eating customs and manners:

The Romans often ate sitting upright, but the wealthy reclined on couches, particularly when they were at dinner parties, and they would often dine outdoors in their gardens with the weather permitted. Cooking vessels were pottery and bronze, sometimes glass or pewter. Food was eaten with the fingers, though it was cut with knives, one for each person eating. Spoons could also be used, for eating liquid and eggs, and their pointed handles served as devices for extricating shellfish or snails from their shells.

What did they eat? Like today, Roman diet and customs depended on the standard of living and the region. Diet was based on corn, oil, and wine. Staples were cereals, mainly wheat, which was prepared either as porridge (puls) or later bread. Bread was eaten at most meals and would be accompanied by sausage, domestic fowl, game, eggs, cheese, fish and shellfish. Fish and oysters were particularly popular. Pork was also available. Roman delicacies were snails and dormice. The Romans also liked pastries and tarts, sweetened with honey.

Vegetables, which formed an important part of the diet, included cabbage, parsnips, lettuce, asparagus, onions, garlic, radishes, lentil, beans and beets.

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98d
soncee Wonderful artikle Thanks for sharing !
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soncee Welcome back dear ❤
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maca1 Very nice artikle
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RasmaSandra @soncee you're welcome
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luluarte Very Nice 😀
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RasmaSandra @maca1 thank you.
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RasmaSandra @luluarte thank you
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indexer It's interesting that the diet you describe is not noticeably "Mediterranean" - you don't mention olive oil, for example. There is also the point that the diet would have varied in different parts of the Empire - due to local availability of specific items.
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milenazoran Very interesting article!
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RasmaSandra @indexer you are right most likely there were variations. It does state three things corn, oil, and wine so even though it was not specified I suppose that was olive oil.
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indexer Yes - sorry, I missed the "oil" reference. Of course that would have been olive oil. I believe that the bread you mention - which would have been nothing like as refined as modern bread - was often dipped in olive oil, which is actually what many Italians and Greeks do today!
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RasmaSandra @indexer I am neither Italian nor Greek but I do like crisp toasted bread dipped in a mix of basil, olive oil and crushed garlic.
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indexer @RasmaSandra That sounds delicious - I must try it some time!
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