Roman Meals Latin I 2013
Let’s Eat! • Most Romans were poor. • “Bread and Circuses” • Annona---welfare tokens • Alimenta---similar to our WIC program for kids • Daily food in the city for the lower classes would have had little variety: bread, vegetables, meat on occasion • Wealthy Romans enjoyed a wide range of food.
Your Meals • ientaculum: breakfast (usually bread dipped in oil or wine; wealthier people might add fruit, cheese, etc.) • prandium: lunch (a light meal, usually cold leftovers) • cena: dinner (largest meal of the day, might start as early as 3 PM)
Where Did Food Come From? • Markets: vegetables, fish, poultry, meat, fruits • Thermopolium: take-out shop • Pistrina: bakery • Only the wealthy had culinae (kitchens) in their homes
Common Foods • Bread • Poultry/fish • Vegetables • Meat: for the poor, on rare ocassions such as public sacrifices
What the Romans did NOT have… • rice strawberries • pasta raspberries • tomatoes coffee • potatoes tea • sugar hard liquor • corn butter • oranges chocolate • bananas
Instead of butter, they used olive oil • Instead of pasta, they used thin pancakes • Romans had many varieties of wine from all over the Empire---wine was always mixed with water (to make different strengths)
Fishy Business! • Garum, aka liquamen • “Fish sauce” or “fish pickle” • Made from the heads, bones, and entrails of fish which decomposed in a strong brine
Don’t think it’s around today?! Vinegar, Molasses, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Anchovies, Water, Onions, Salt, Garlic, Tamarind Concentrate, Cloves, Natural Flavorings, Chili Pepper Extract.
A Dinner Party • Triclinium--- “tri”=“three”, literally 3 couches, 3 people per couch (the ideal number for a dinner party) • Guests reclined to eat, resting on the left elbow • Slaves would remove guests’ sandals and wash their feet
Presentation! • Wealthy parties would feature exotic foods such as peacock and flamingo • Often cooks would present food disguised as something else (such as a pig that looked like a chicken, or cakes made to look like boiled eggs)
Utensils • Spoons, plates, bowls, goblets • No forks • Slaves carved meat into small pieces before it was sent to the table • Most eating was done with the fingers
Courses • Appetizer: gustatio • eggs, shellfish, salad, mulsum---honeyed wine • Main course: fercula • several courses, odd number, the chief dish would be served in the middle • Pause for libation to the gods • Dessert: secundamensa (“second table”) • fruits, sometimes pastries • Sometimes slaves would replace the entire table top for dessert…that’s why it was called “second table”
Roman Dinner Party Project! • You must invite 8 guests (and yourself) for the nine diners. The guests can be anyone, real or fiction, living or dead. • Draw out your seating chart and show who will sit where. • Using web resources, plan your dinner with the gustatio, fercula, and secundamensa. Make a menu with the Latin and English recipe names. Include a description of the dish. • Plan your entertainment. The Romans enjoyed poetry, dancers, music, acrobats, and so forth. You can use modern entertainers if you’d like.
What you’ll turn in: • On unlined paper: • Your Roman-style seating chart/guests’ names (point out who is the guest of honor) • Your decorated menu. Include the entertainment at the bottom. • gustatio (appetizers), fercula (main course), secundamensa (dessert)---include a description of each dish in English. • Work should be historically accurate, neatly done (preferably typed or printed), and show off all your research!
Menu: gustatio(at least 2 dishes) 20 pts fercula (at least 3 dishes) 20 pts secundamensa(1 or more dish) 20 pts Seating chart: 8 guests 10 pts Seating chart diagram 10 pts Entertainment:10 pts Neatness/layout: 10 pts TOTAL 100 points