PhD Essay Industries Food Ancient Roman Foods. Ancient Roman Feasts and Recipes Adapted for Modern Cooking, by Jon Solomon (1977). There were also few citrus fruits. Cabbage was eaten both raw (sometimes dipped in vinegar) and cooked. Things were a little different for the affluent Romans though. On the downside, wheat breads were rather more expensive than bran breads, so the common people preferred the latter, while finest-quality wheat breads were the first choice for the rich folk. The Romans ate a varied diet consisting of vegetables, meat and fish. After the prandium, the last responsibilities would be discharged, and a visit would be made to the baths. As baking flourished, more varieties of breads were made. Fruit tarts were popular with the upper class, but the lower classes couldn't afford to personally make them or purchase them from markets and vendors. Clearly, there was an ever-increasing demand for wine in ancient Rome which gave rise to widespread wine production especially along the border between Latium and Campania in Italy. They used cereals they grew to make bread. There was a time when most Romans had to satisfy their appetites with porridge made of barley or wheat. Some vintage wines like Caecuban, Setian, Falernian, and Massic came from wine producers in these areas. Essay type Research . This only added to posca’s popularity as its acidity killed most of the germs and kept the drink from early stagnation. , Fish was more common than meat. The poorest Romans ate quite simple meals, but the rich were used to eating a wide range of dishes using produce from all over the Roman Empire. In the Imperial period, around the beginning of the Common era, bread made of wheat was introduced; with time, more and more wheaten foods began to replace emmer loaves. Perhaps the most popular of all the Roman appetizers was the … A more sophisticated variation was made with olive oil, and consumed with an accompaniment of assorted vegetables when available. | Ancient Roman Food. In fact, it’s … Originally flat, round loaves made of emmer (a cereal grain closely related to wheat) with a bit of salt were eaten; among the upper classes, eggs, cheese, and honey, along with milk and fruit were also consumed.  John E. Stambaugh writes that meat "was scarce except at sacrifices and the dinner parties of the rich". Due to the lack of a sweetener such as sugar there was always a desire for the sweetest fruits that were available. molluscs, shrimp). Traditionally, a breakfast called ientaculum was served at dawn. One specific recipe, Conditum Paradoxum, is for a mixture of wine, honey, pepper, laurel, dates, mastic, and saffron, cooked and stored for later use. Overall, bread became the Roman’s staple food. Barley. Guy, John:"Roman Life", page 8, Ticktock Publishing LTD,1998. The Romans dressed up their meals with various sauces. The gladiators were served sprouted barley as a gruel and a similar barley gruel meal was also served in the Roman army as a staple food. Soldier - The Roman Army was large and needed soldiers. Wheat.  Some fish were greatly esteemed and fetched high prices, such as mullet raised in the fishery at Cosa, and "elaborate means were invented to assure its freshness". Another recipe called for the addition of seawater, pitch and rosin to the wine. Within 150 years, there were more than 300 specialist pastry chefs in Rome. It was usually made by watering down low-quality wine and then adding spices to make it taste better. The Roman legions' staple ration of food was wheat. ), p. 2-3.  The Romans knew of rice, but it was very rarely available to them. Oranges and lemons were known but used more for medicinal purposes than in cookery. Here you have the majority of what made up an ancient Roman’s diet. There were four major fish sauce types: garum, liquamen, muria, and allec.  Sour wine mixed with water and herbs (posca) was a popular drink for the lower classes and a staple part of the Roman soldier's ration. It also had a symbolic meaning in ancient Rome since olive leaves and branches represented peace, fertility, and prosperity. The ancient Romans ate walnuts, almonds, pistachios, chestnuts, hazelnuts (filberts), pine nuts, and sesame seeds, which they sometimes pulverized to thicken spiced, sweet wine sauces for roast meat and fowl to serve on the side or over the meat as a glaze. The Roman lunch (cibus meridianus or prandium), a quick meal eaten around noon, could include salted bread or be more elaborate with fruit, salad, eggs, meat or fish, vegetables, and cheese. Here is a list of the top 10 ancient Roman foods and drinks: Barley was an essential staple in ancient Greece since it made up a large portion of the diet of athletes. The Romans wasted no time in reaping all these benefits and barley was the most popular grain in the republican era. Food and dining in the Roman Empire reflect both the variety of food-stuffs available through the expanded trade networks of the Roman Empire and the traditions of conviviality from ancient Rome's earliest times, inherited in part from the Greeks and Etruscans. The cultivation of barley was relatively easy since barley is adaptable and resistant. Wheat flour was used to bake the best of breads.  The Romans also engaged in snail farming and oak grub farming. Individuals had to be citizens and domiciled in Rome to receive the frumentatio.. For the poor Romans, meals were bland and consisted of the boiled paste of available staples like wheat, barley, and vegetables. Soon, consumption of bread gained so much popularity that in 168 BC, the first bakers’ guild was formed. They had beef, pork, poultry, fowl, lamb, and fish. Maintaining the food suppl By the end of the Republic, it was usual for the meal to be served in three parts: an appetiser (gustatio), main course (primae mensae), and dessert (secundae mensae). The most extensive description of Roman cheese-making comes from Columella, from his treatise on Roman agriculture, De Re Rustica. Boiled Eggs with Pine Nut Sauce. Meat was an expensive commodity in ancient Rome (at least for the poor Roman peasants), so the common people preferred buying it in small pieces and mainly ate it during festivals. Wine was such a popular drink among the Romans that it could be called their national drink. While the precursors of Brussels sprouts, artichokes, peas, rutabaga, and possibly cauliflower probably existed in Roman times, the modern cultivated forms we think of were not developed until the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance times. Furthermore, legumes, milk, eggs, and butter were often added to bread to make it more nutritious and to taste better, but such specialist breads could only be afforded by rich citizens. Artman, John:"Ancient Rome- Independent Learning Unit", page 26, Good Apple, 1991. Our kn… A Greek traveler reported that the beverage was apparently an acquired taste. Cherries and apricots, both introduced in the 1st century BC, were popular. They despised beer since it was a popular drink among the barbarians – the Britons and the Celts – so naturally wine was the preferred option. This entry is about food in Rome, the ancient empire. So often when studying the food of the past, a great deal of attention is paid to what the elites ate, particularly when it comes to Ancient Rome. The Romans ate food that they could grow such as vegetables. For example, there was passum, a strong and sweet raisin wine, for which the earliest known recipe is of Carthaginian origin; mulsum, a freshly made mixture of wine and honey (called a pyment today); and conditum, a mixture of wine, honey and spices made in advance and matured. There were many kinds of bread of differing quality. This meal could last until late in the night, especially if guests were invited, and would often be followed by comissatio, a round of alcoholic beverages (usually wine.). Carob was the equivalent of modern-day cocoa and was frequently used to add its chocolate-like flavor to various dishes. Popular fruits like apples, figs, grapes, pears, plums, dates, cherries, and peaches were easily available in the Mediterranean region.  The potato, tomato and chili pepper from the New World were not available in ancient Roman times, nor was maize (the modern source of polenta). Meat was a delicacy for people of the ancient Roman world, and oftentimes it was almost exclusively consumed by the rich. The staples of the Roman diet consisted of barley, olive oil and wine, and these three foods were eaten by both the rich and the poor. The Roman colonies provided many foods to Rome; the city received ham from Belgium, oysters from Brittany, garum from Mauritania, wild game from Tunisia, silphium (laser) from Cyrenaica, flowers from Egypt, lettuce from Cappadocia, and fish from Pontus. The Emperor Diocletian (284–305 CE) fixed maximum prices for cheese. , Beer (cerevisia) was known but considered vulgar, and was associated with barbarians.. Originally, the carob pods were eaten raw straight from the tree. The beef was tough and unappetizing. Ancient Roman Fruits and Vegetables. However, among the upper classes, who normally did not engage in manual labour, it became customary to schedule all business obligations in the morning.  Less common fruits were the more exotic azeroles and medlars. Rations also depended on where the legions were stationed or were campaigning. , Portable stoves and ovens were used by the Romans, and some had water pots and grills laid onto them.  Cato greatly esteemed cabbage, believing it to be good for the digestion, and also believed that if a sick person ate a great deal of cabbage and bathed in his urine, he would recover. Wheat pancakes with dates or honey were common for breakfast, wheat breads and cheese were usually taken for lunch and wheat porridge was almost always on the dinner menu in Roman households. They were either cooked down into a broth or roasted as a snack. An ancient Roman’s staple food.  The bread was sometimes dipped in wine and eaten with olives, cheese, and grapes. They despised beer... 3. Ancient Roman Foods. The soldiers used to add water to the vinegar to turn it into drinkable posca. For instance, on his triumph, Caesar gave a public feast to 260,000 humiliores (poorer people) which featured all three of these foods, but no butcher's meat. This is my absolute favorite dish, and also the very first one I ever cooked. The quality of bread depended on the quality of the flour which is in turn determined by the kind of grain used, how the millstones were set, and how fine the sifter was. It can be a weird idea to the modern person to eat a dormouse, though some in some cultures and countries it is still… 10 Bucatini all’amatriciana. They used it in lamps, and even to cleanse their bodies in baths as the Romans did not have soap.  There are recipes for pear and peach creams and milk puddings flavored with honey, pepper and a little garum. Traditionally, a breakfast called ientaculum was served at dawn. The Romans knew several varieties of chickpea, such as venus, ram, and punic. Around the Table of the Romans: Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome, by Patrick Faas (2002). The Romans made the most out of baking practices they had learned from the Greeks and the Egyptians, but it was during the Roman era that bread production attained new heights and their love for bread gave a huge boost to the baking industry. Cena was the main meal.  There was originally a charge for this but from 58 BC this charge was abolished by the plebeian tribune Publius Clodius Pulcher. Sweet wine cakes were made with honey, reduced red wine and cinnamon. Enkythoi is another common type of Roman pastry that was softer and like a modern sponge cake.  The manufacture of cheese and its quality and culinary uses are mentioned by a number of Roman authors: Pliny the Elder described cheese's dietary and medicinal uses in Book 28 of Historia Naturalis, and Varro in De Agricultura described the Roman cheesemaking season (spring and summer) and compared soft, new cheeses with drier, aged cheeses. Thus, it gradually shifted to the evening, while the vesperna was abandoned completely over the course of the years. Aside from the basic food in ancient Rome rich people were also able to include meat in their diet. The ancient Mediterranean diet revolved around four staples, which, even today, continue to dominate restaurant menus and kitchen tables: cereals, vegetables, olive oil and wine. At Pompeii, grapes, bread and pastry were burned and buried in peristyle courtyard gardens as offerings to household Lares.. Staple vegetables were legumes which consisted of three primary legume items: beans, lentils, and peas. Because of this, the Romans had many purposes for olive oil. As You may know, they imported the tradition of eating pasta from the Italian people. Peaches were introduced in the 1st century AD from Persia. What Did Ancient Romans Eat?  These included celery, garlic, some flower bulbs, cabbage and other brassicas (such as kale and broccoli), lettuce, endive, onion, leek, asparagus, radishes, turnips, parsnips, carrots, beets, green peas, chard, French beans, cardoons, olives, and cucumber. At mid-day to early afternoon, Romans ate cena, the main meal of the day, and at nightfall a light supper called vesperna. , Legumes were limited to dried peas, fava beans (broad beans), chickpeas, lentils, and Lupines. The most popular sauce was a fermented fish sauce called garum. So I hope you give them a try and enjoy your meal. Roman athletes followed suit and made barley an integral part of their training diet. Sprias were a type of sweet pastry that were readily available during this time that were always spent with a thin cake-like crust while sometimes containing fruit in them.  The most costly garum was garum sociorum, made from mackerel (scomber) at the New Carthage fisheries in Spain, and widely traded. So adding a little sauce and spice into the mix helped them have a cuisine that excited the taste buds. Rich Romans would eat beef, pork, wild boar, venison, hare, guinea fowl, pheasant, chicken, geese, peacock, duck, and even dormice – a mouse-like rodent – which was served with honey. It was also a major ingredient in some of the most popular sauces used in ancient Roman cooking. Even the great Hadrian drank posca when on campaign to show his men he was one of them. 1 (3d ed. The Romans dined on roast pork in spicy sauces, snacked on cheese with dates and nuts, ate omelettes with mushrooms, and enjoyed desserts like cheesecake and figs in custard. Naturally, many of the eating and drinking habits of the ancient Romans were influenced by popular foodstuffs grown in the Mediterranean region, primarily wheat. Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa, A Taste of Rome, 1992, pp. Garum was the distinctive fish sauce of ancient Rome. At mid-day to early afternoon, Romans ate cena, the main meal of the day, and at nightfall a light supper called vesperna. Much of the Roman diet, at least the privileged Roman diet, would be familiar to a modern Italian.They ate But soon, there was a surplus of resources as the empire kept on expanding. She has a new book coming out in 2021 called The Story of Garum: Fermented Fish Sauce and Salted Fish in the Ancient World .  One thousand sesterces in the Early Empire was equal to 110 g of gold. P.F. McSweeney, Cheese: An Overview, in Cheese: Chemistry, Physics, and Microbiology Vol.  A number of kitchens at Pompeii had no roofs, resembling courtyards more than ordinary rooms; this allowed smoke to ventilate. Pliny the Elder discussed more than 30 varieties of olive, 40 kinds of pear, figs (native and imported from Africa and the eastern provinces), and a wide variety of vegetables. [a] Some of these vegetables are no longer present in the modern world, while others have undergone significant changes.  The most renowned were large platters of various fruits picked fresh; some of the more exotic fruits that were not able to grow in Rome were even shipped in from distant continents for the wealthy. Artman, John::"Ancient Rome- Independent Learning Unit", page 26, Good Apple,1991. Ancient Roman cuisine changed greatly over the duration of the civilization's existence. Posca was a popular drink among ancient Roman soldiers and poor peasants.  Kitchens that did have roofs must have been extremely smokey, since the only ventilation would come from high windows or holes in the ceiling; while the Romans built chimneys for their bakeries and smithies, they were unknown in private dwellings until about the 12th century A.D, well after the collapse of Roman civilization. Moreover, many of these fruits could be dried to preserve them. Aper ita conditur: spogiatur, et sic aspergitur ei sal et cuminum frictum, et sic … , However, some foods considered characteristic of modern Italian cuisine were not used. While lacking necessary ingredients commonly used in the modern era for sweets such as refined sugar or properly churned butter, ancient Rome had an abundance of desserts to serve after they had completed their meals served with wine. 1 (3d ed. Ancient Rome was one of the largest empires of its time, primarily based around the Mediterranean. Put in a pan and bring to the boil.  With the increased importation of foreign foods, the cena grew larger in size and included a wider range of foods. As a fruit, the olive was one of the most commonly grown food items in the Mediterranean region. , Cheese was eaten and its manufacture was well-established by the Roman Empire period. Though, barley was a Greek food item popularized by them, the Romans were fast enough to … One of many modes of cooking in ancient Rome was the focus, a hearth that was placed in front of the lararium, the household altar which contained small sculptures of the household deity (the lares, or guardian ancestor-spirits, and the penates, who were believed to protect the floor, the larder). Poor Romans did not have access to much meat, but they did add it to their diet from time to time.  In particular, spinach and eggplant (aubergine) were introduced later from the Arab world, and tomatoes and capsicum peppers only appeared in Europe following the discovery of the New World and the Columbian Exchange. The early Romans were not the biggest or grandest eaters, but as the empire gained stability and expanded, so did their culinary habits. They were often mixed into bread and since they were readily available sources of protein, these legumes became a routine staple in Roman meals. Jacques André listed 54 cultivated and 43 wild vegetables in ancient Rome. ), p. 2-3, http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/lemon.html#Description%7Cpublisher=Purdue, resourcesforhistory.com: Food in Roman Britain, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ancient_Roman_cuisine&oldid=991463213, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 30 November 2020, at 04:55. Popular fruit included apples, pears, figs, grapes, quinces, citron, strawberries, blackberries, elderberries, currants, damson plums, dates, melons, rose hips and pomegranates. add fruits and honey (sweet taste) and vinegar (sour) to their food thereby giving it a sweet and sour taste  Roman chefs made sweet buns flavored with blackcurrants and cheese cakes made with flour, honey, eggs, ricotta-like cheese and poppy seed. Carrots of different colours were consumed, but not in orange. Pasta is a loved meal in Rome. McSweeney, Cheese: An Overview, in Cheese: Chemistry, Physics, and Microbiology Vol. Over the course of the Republican period, the Cena developed into two courses: the main course and a dessert with fruit and seafood (e.g. Wheat flour was... 2. At the time of the destruction of Pompeii in AD 79, there were at least 33 bakeries in that city.  It was part of the standard rations for Roman soldiers and was popular among civilians as well. All three primary meals had one or more food items made of wheat. Nuts were used in pastries, tarts and puddings sweetened with honey.  Beef was uncommon in ancient Rome, being more common in ancient Greece – it is not mentioned by Juvenal or Horace. Words 993 (3 pages) Views 496. One fish-based sauce by the name of garum was particularly famous among the Romans. More common was a focus that was rectangular and portable, consisting simply of a moveable hearth with stone or bronze feet. The government of Rome provided free or cheap grain for the poor called a "grain dole."  The simplest kind would be made from emmer, water, salt and fat. Depending on whether you were rich, poor or a soldier in Ancient Rome, you would eat a standard or lavish daily diet.. For the Roman elite, food was a way of demonstrating wealth. Meat was more exclusively for the rich since they could afford pretty much anything. During the ancient Roman civilization, the cuisine had changed over the course of history.  Seafood, game, and poultry, including ducks and geese, were more usual. Wine. Among the lower cla… Poor ancient Romans ate porridge or bread made from grains for almost every meal. Mutton was popular in Northern Gaul and Britannica, but pork was the main meat ration of the legions. The ancient Romans were inexplicably fond of sauces and spices with their meals. One of the most popular fruits among all Romans was carob. The Romans also had a taste for fish, especially those found in the Mediterranean, which they ate fresh, dried, salted, smoked, or pickled. The Romans always diluted their wine with water since drinking it straight was not part of their culture. There will be at some point a separate entry on food in modern-day Rome, the city. This further extended to a variety of birds like geese, ducks, blackbirds, doves, magpies, quails, and woodcocks. A history of Roman food, and then about a hundred Roman recipes you can make. Around 2 p.m., the cena would begin.  Lemons were known in Italy from the second century AD but were not widely cultivated.  Cows were prized for their milk; bulls as plough and draft animals. Fox and P.L.H. Roman food was mainly obtained from the Mediterranean area and Gaul (now France).Romans enjoyed foodstuffs from the trade networks of the Roman Republic and Empire.Keeping up the food supply to the city of Rome was a major political issue in the late Republic. It was especially famous among the Roman gladiators who were also known by the name of hordearii which meant “eaters of barley” or “barley men.” Barley, being a rich source of carbohydrate, helped them gain weight and maintain a spectacular physique to please the crowds.  At least 35 cultivars of pear were grown in Rome, along with three types of apples. They were supplied with rations of bread and vegetables along with meats such as beef, mutton, or pork. The porridge which was made of a variety of wheat was replaced with bread. Rome was founded, historians believe, by 625 BC (though the Romans themselves believed their city was founded in … Banqueting played a major role in Rome's communal religion.  Although known to the ancient Romans, lemons were not cultivated in Italy until the Principate. Today's expert on garum (and really all things surrounding ancient Roman food) is food historian Sally Grainger. The Roman legions used to receive a lot of vinegar in their rations. The ancient Roman diet included many items that are staples of modern Italian cooking. Romans typically ate three meals a day – breakfast (ientaculum), lunch (prandium) and dinner (cena). Last Updated 27 Jul 2020.  It was made in different qualities, from fish such as tuna, mullet, and sea bass. Ancient Roman Cereals. , Wine was also variously flavored. Another famous ancient Roman food was the Roman Burger which consisted of minced meat, French roll soaked in white wine, freshly ground pepper, salty fish sauce, stonepine kernels, green peppercorns, Caroenum, and baking foil. Fruit was eaten fresh when in season, and dried or preserved over winter. Wine was sometimes adjusted and "improved" by its makers: instructions survive for making white wine from red and vice versa, as well as for rescuing wine that is turning to vinegar.  It could be flavoured, for example mixed with wine, or diluted with water (hydrogarum), a form popular among Roman soldiers, although the emperor Elagabalus asserted that he was the first to serve it at public banquets in Rome. Imported figs were among the charred foods preserved when Boudica and her army burned down a Roman shop in Colchester. Meat … , Juscellum was a broth with grated bread, eggs, sage and saffron, described in Apicius, a Roman recipe book of the late 4th or early 5th century.. Rome Food Tour … There is only one recipe for beef stew and another for veal scallopini. In the period of the kings and the early Republic, but also in later periods (for the working classes), the cena essentially consisted of a kind of porridge, the puls. A primary food item in ancient Rome was wheat which was an essential ingredient in most meals. Bread was also staple food in the Roman diet. 91–92. With the increased importation of foreign foods, the cena grew larger in size and included a wider range of foods. , Dormice were eaten and considered a delicacy. Just like many other delicacies, the Romans had learned various uses for carob from the culinary practices of the ancient Greeks. The most common crop was wheat which was used to make bread. Don’t miss a chance to chat with experts. Nuts were also used in savoury pesto-like sauces for cold cuts. Dietary habits were affected by the political changes from kingdom to republic to empire, and the empire's enormous expansion, which exposed Romans to many new provincial culinary habits and cooking methods. In contrast to the Greek symposium, which was primarily a drinking party, the equivalent social institution of the Roman convivium was focused on food.  It was used as a seasoning, in place of salt; as a table condiment; and as a sauce.  After the development of separate kitchens, the focus began to be used only for religious offerings and for warmth, rather than for cooking. Romans typically had three meals a day: jentaculum was their breakfast, prandium was the name for lunch and cena or dinner was the main meal. Thus, it gradually shifted to the evening, while the vesperna was abandoned completely over the course of the years. The more exotic the food the better it was for rich Romans. They would first make a brine of fish intestines, then crush the mixture and leave it to ferment for weeks until it was ready to serve. Sprouting helped transform the hard barley grains into a paste of dense but easy-to-digest food which had the added benefit of being rich in nutrients.  Many kinds of vegetables were cultivated and consumed. Unlike the rich Romans, the common peasants were more dependent on vegetables than any other food source. The Romans brought food over from other countries in their empire (imported food). Primary meat sources were poultry and wild game such as rabbit, hare, and boar. Ancient history can be defined as occurring from the beginning of recorded human history to: . Well-to-do Romans could afford the best and loved throwing dinner parties that lasted for hours. Farmer - Most of the Romans who lived in the countryside were farmers. Wine was such a popular drink among the Romans that it could be called their national drink. Even so, exotic meats like peacock were even more of a rarity. chat with experts. The Greek culture heavily influenced they way the people processed and ate the food. What is it: This is an ancient sauce made from fermented fish entrails and salt, which entered the Roman… Flavouring food with sauces, herbs and exotic spices was another important element of Roman food preparation. The 10 Oldest Ancient Civilizations That Have Ever Existed, Top 10 Most Worshiped Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, Top 10 Inventions and Discoveries of Ancient Greece…, Top 11 Inventions and Discoveries of Mesopotamia, especially famous among the Roman gladiators, add water to the vinegar to turn it into drinkable posca, legumes, milk, eggs, and butter were often added to bread, Top 10 Most Popular Ancient Egyptian Foods, Top 21 Fascinating Facts about the Ancient Persian Empire, Top 12 Surprising and Fascinating Facts about Ancient Sumer, Top 13 Surprising and Fascinating Facts about Ancient Babylonia, Top 12 Fascinating Facts about Ancient Mesopotamia. They also ate meat from animals and birds. The eating habits of rich Romans were lavish and grand when compared to those of an ordinary Roman peasant. Fruit made up a major part of the daily diets of the ancient Romans. Apicius gives only four recipes for beef but the same recipes call for lamb or pork as options. Wilhelmina F. Jashernski, Frederick G. Meyer, & Massumino Ricciardi. At Pompeii, most houses had separate kitchens, most fairly small, but a few large; the Villa of the Mysteries covers a nine-by-twelve meter area. Most ordinary Romans would either boil their food or fry it in olive oil. Phytoliths have been found at a cemetery in Tarragona, Spain. The most popular meat was pork, especially sausages. A stable government meant almost everyone could access sustenance with ease. In the 4th century, most legionaries ate as well as anyone in Rome. Just like with fruit, the Romans would also store vegetables in brine, vinegar, or preserved wine as pickles. Fox and P.L.H. She has written extensively on the topic of this ancient sauce. , In Ancient Rome, wine was normally mixed with water immediately before drinking, since the fermentation was not controlled and the alcohol grade was high.  On the walls of kitchens were hooks and chains for hanging cooking equipment, including various pots and pans, knives, meat forks, sieves, graters, spits, tongs, cheese-slicers, nutcrackers, jugs for measuring, and pâté moulds. A primary food item in ancient Rome was wheat which was an essential ingredient in most meals. So naturally, a variety of meat items were served during the grand dinner parties of rich Roman families. One recipe for boiled ostrich meat states, “Pepper, mint, roasted cumin, celery seed, long or round dates, honey, vinegar, passum (raisin wine), liquamen (fish sauce) and a little oil. Vegetables like asparagus, artichokes, beets, cabbage, turnips, carrots, chard, onions, leeks, and cucumbers were often used as appetizers or as starters in their lavish dinner parties. Remains of small fish bones, sea urchin spines and mineralized plants have survived in the city's sewers; among the plants archaeologists have identified dill, coriander, flax, lentil, cabbage, opium poppy and various other nuts, fruits and legumes, as well as a diverse variety of fish and shellfish. The Roman legions were known to carry huge barrels of posca wine during their military campaigns. But olive oil was not just used as a foodstuff; it was in fact a part of the Romans’ daily lifestyle. Poor people’s food –around the Mediterranean Sea –in Northern Europe and England , Butcher's meat was an uncommon luxury. Seafood, cheese, eggs, meat and many types of fruit were also available to those who could afford it. The army was a way for the poorer class to earn a regular wage and to … In fact, the taste of the food was just secondary in importance as compared with how exotic or how complicated it was to prepare. Facts about Roman Food talk about the dietary and cooking habit of the ancient Romans.  A sumptuary law enacted under Marcus Aemilius Scaurus forbade the eating of dormice, but failed to stop the practice.. Most of the meals in the Roman military were cooked in olive oil and vinegar. The Romans were also adept at processing and conserving their food using techniques from pickling to storage in honey. A household’s first course at dinner was usually accompanied by mulsum, a slight variation of regular wine made by mixing honey with it. Food for the common people consisted of wheat or barley, olive oil, a little fish, wine, home grown vegetables, and if they were lucky enough to own a goat or cow or chickens, cheese and a few eggs.. As the Republic grew and the Empire expanded the Romans came into contact with food from other ethnic grojuops. The Roman cookbook Apicius gives several recipes for chickpeas..