History, Facts and Information about Roman Food
The Romans loved their food which became more luxurious and elaborate as their empire increased. The content of this article describes the typical food which would be served during the main meal at the table of a rich Patrician. Interesting history, facts and information about life in Ancient Rome including the subject of Roman Food.
Ancient Roman Meals
Ancient Roman Recipes
Roman Food - Dinner, the Coena, the First Course
The main course was the dinner which usually consisted of three courses. The first course were snacks would usually include an egg dish, small rolls sprinkled with poppy-seed and honey, and hot sausages, lettuce and olives. At feasts the first course included dishes such as shell-fish, thrushes, asparagus, a fatted hen, goat and wild boar. Rich meats were also used in creating pasties.
Roman Food - the Second Course
The second course of a Roman dinner might include birds such as the Guinea hen, the woodcock, flamingo, the pheasant and the thrush. The liver of a capon steeped in milk dressed with pepper was regarded as a delicacy. The peacock was also a very expensive favorite of the Patrician class. Fish dishes were endless and included fish such as the turbot, the sturgeon, the mullet, eels and prawns in a sauce. Meats included pork, bacon, boar and venison. Pickles, sauces, truffles, mushrooms and other vegetables were also served.
Roman Food - the Dessert
The bellaria or dessert consisted of nuts and fruits (which the Romans usually ate uncooked), almonds, dried grapes, dates, sweetmeats and confections. Cheesecakes, almond cakes and tarts were also served.
Roman Food served at a Roman Feast or Banquet
A description of Roman Food served at a supper feast held by Petronius (ca. 27–66), a Roman writer, is as follows:
A large round tray is brought in, with the signs of the zodiac figured all round it, upon each of which the artist had placed some appropriate viand (delicious dish). A goose on Aquarius, a pair of scales with tarts and cheesecakes in each scale on Libra. In the middle was placed a hive supported by delicate herbage. Four slaves come forward dancing to the sound of music taking away the upper part of the dish beneath which appeared all kinds of dressed meats. A hare with wings, to imitate Pegasus in the middle and four figures of Marsyas (satyrs) at the corners. Then pouring hot sauce over the fish, that were swimming in the Euripus (the Euripus was a strait on the Aegean Sea) below. Finishing with the porcus Trojanus (a huge sort of pudding stuffed with the flesh of other animals)
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