Eating and Drinking taverns and bars.docx

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Classical Studies
Classical Studies 1000
Kelly Olson

Eating and Drinking: taverns and bars March 8, 2013 1:55 PM • 3 meals in a day • Breakfast, whenever you wake up • Lunch time around noon, normally • Dinnertime: is the socially significant meal of the day • Dinnertime was first around 3 pm, but then later and later • This is because want to get home before the dark from the dinner party they're at, since there are no streetlights • One breakfast consisting of bread, not very fancy meal Roman food: • Wheat/grain: porridge or bread • The wealthy had their own ovens but the poor would take the unbaked bread down to the bakery for a little bit of money • Poor cuisine: porridge, beans, discarded parts of the animals (like lips) • Rich cuisine: exotic spices, fancy appetizers and desserts, meat (was the most expensive thing to eat in antiquity) • Meat was most often boiled then roasted • Preservation of food was a real problem • Meat was often dried to help preserve it or even smoked, could also be packed with salt to preserve • Rich sauces covered the rotten meat, rotten because was usually not preserved properly and this also explains the frequency of stomach ailments/diseases in antiquity Garum/liquamen: • Made from the innards of fish • The fish was salted and placed under the sun for up to three months • Then the mixture was jarred and sold in jars as a sauce/flavouring • Did they just putrefy it? • The brine coming out of the fish dissolved its flesh and was a very common and immensely popular flavouring • There were Garum factories all over the Empire • Put on and in everything, including desserts • Rich people didn’t cook because considered a very servile job, so was grocery shopping or the gathering of food Produce: • Vegetables - cabbage, leeks, lettuce, onions, garlic, mushrooms • Fruits - plums, quinces, pomegranates, strawberries, cherries • Nuts - pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts Other food: • Bread - people would bring their own; take their dough to a communal oven or buy it from a baker • Wealthy would have a baker (slave) on staff or hire one for the day if having a huge dinner feast • Meat was fairly expensive in the Roman society • Sheep, pork, hens, geese, ducks, small birds were all used for the meat • Were also very fond of small birds, stuffed as a delicacy • Farms where small birds were grown • However, beef was not consumed on a regular basis by the Romans • Although, they had cows for the milk but wouldn’t butcher them for the meat/beef for some reason • The Romans don’t have machinery to grind the grains of the wheat so had donkeys that would turn the millstones to crush/grind the seeds of the wheat Beverages: • Wine is the most common beverage, with varying quality • The poorest being much like vinegar, drank by slaves and the poor while the wealthy would the best quality • Would also add spices, honey, herbs to the wine to impress people • Wine stored in amphorae, but did not keep well (most: 3-4 years) • Water + wine ( don’t drink it by itself, because that’s considered to be too alcoholic and barbaric) • Since you're drinking it all day long and everyone drinks it, u have to mix it with water to dilute it • Also, all water mixed with wine to disinfect it because no systems to purify or disinfect the water (which is unsanitary already) • The Romans did not drink beer because was considered to be an uncivilized drink, so was milk (usually sheep's), which was only given to the sick, ill people Luxury food items: • Fresh fish • Some Roman villa owners had private fishponds • 'Pike caught between two bridges' was fat and juicy • Peacocks, dormice, snails, boar also considered delicacies and luxur
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