Roman food

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Romans enjoyed fine dinners, and would have enjoyed dishes such as swan, lobster and suckling pig alongside sausages and chicken. Other treats might include dormice or squid stuffed with calf brain served with dumplings, barley, seaweed and eggs. Flavours were enhanced with thyme, garlic, sage and parsley. Meals also had a popular sauce from Spain called liquamen, made from rotting fish and with a very sharp flavour. This may also have been added to sweet dishes as well as savouries. The Romans had this Spanish sauce because many of the foods that the Roman Britons liked to eat were imported from other parts of the Empire.

For desserts, Romans loved cakes with almond and honey, or ice cream flavoured with fruit. They loved dates but they also loved nuts, pears, grapes and fig which they grew. It was not uncommon for people at banquets to eat until they were sick then eat again. Lunches were a smaller meal likely to consist of fish, salad, bread stuffed with vegetables and cold meats, or cheeses. Lunch would have breads and fruit.

Breakfast for richer Romans would most likely be fruit.

Poorer foods[change | edit source]

In contrast to the fine banquets, poor people ate the cheapest foods, so they had for breakfast grain made into twice-baked bread and porridge, and for lunch a vegetable and meat stew. The vegetables available included millet, onions, turnips, and olivewith bread and oil on the side.

At dinner they had thin soup or meat with cheese, and a pudding of honey.

Roman drinks[change | edit source]

The Romans mainly drank wine, the main drink of the Empire, and water. The wine could be laced with spices and honey to improve the taste. Slaves poured wine and honeyed water in flasks. Slaves filled goblets with wine from large dishes. However, drinks such as milk were considered uncivilised and hence were only used for children, medical purposes and making cheese. The wine drunk across the empire was produced in Italy, Africa, Gaul, Spain and Greece. Beer was also drunk by Romans in Britain.

Entertainment[change | edit source]

For entertainment Roman diners had dancers that danced around the room .They also had poets, musicians and acrobats. The music was very popular. During feasts the instruments lyres, tympani, cymbals and harps were played by the slaves. A harp makes soft tunes.

Roman kitchens[change | edit source]

The Roman kitchens are very different to modern day kitchens. They were very dirty and they didn't have good tables to work on. The room would have been very dusty with all the cooking done over small fires. Roman kitchens were usually small rooms, simply equipped with built-in clay ovens and wooden cupboards. A charcoal fire heated a brick hearth, where the cook fried or cooked food in earthenware or bronze pots for baking or roasting. They placed meats in the ashes. The Roman kitchens were small compared to the one we have today. The kitchen would also have large jars of olive oil, wine, vinegar and fish sauces, as well as a mortar for grinding up spices. Only richer people had kitchens, although they didn't cook because their slaves did it. Despite the simple facilities, the cooks and slaves produced spicy dishes of shellfish, wild boar, fruits and sweets.

People would have thought they were at the theatre because they often sang whilst they worked, and ate with their fingers. Poorer people didn’t have kitchens but cooked on fires in the street, or took the food to be heated in large oven of a bakers shop.