The ancient Romans were more than a fascinating people; they are the people we can thank for some of the institutions and the ways of life that we still rely on and practice today. For example, the professional military, the representative form of government that we in the U.S. enjoy and even something as basic as concrete were all thought of first by the Roman people. To say that the Romans changed the face of the world forever is a massive understatement! Because of their contributions that we still use today in our modern society, everything about the Romans is still fascinating to us, even 2000 years later.
One of these things about Ancient Rome that still fascinates us is what they ate and how it was made. In fact, you could well be surprised about what the Romans both ate and drank. For the lot of persons in ancient Rome, the basic staple food was corn or grain, oil and wine to drink. The wealthier Romans, such as the senators, of course, had their choice among more exotic foods.
Husked wheat was turned into porridge and bread. Bread was the most popular type of food with Romans, and it was at times seasoned with the addition of either cheese or honey. Bread was often eaten with an accompanying food such as sausage, shellfish, fish, eggs, game or domestic fowl. Even oysters were quite widespread as a food in ancient Rome, and, naturally, the Romans were fond of other meats, specifically pork. For wealthier people, delicacies such as dormice and snails were popular. The Romans enjoyed their sweets as well. For instance, tarts, pastries and cakes of all kinds were either prepared in the home or commercially in bakeries.
The Romans prepared their food in many of the same ways that we still do in the present. For example, a domed, circular oven was used to bake both pastries or bread. A lot of the food that the Romans ended up ingesting was actually cooked over an open hearth, usually in one of two ways. The food would either be cooked by way of cauldrons hanging from chains or basic cook vessels that were fixed onto gridirons. Like today, the majority of cooking then was done in the kitchen since the smoke would easily be permitted to escape by way of ceiling holes or wall vents. Much of the meat was broiled, and frequently, food was made with a combination of vinegar, honey and fruit to create a sweet/sour taste.
As you can see, the food that the Romans prepared and ate was not that much different from what we have today in the present day. The cooking methods of the Romans—ovens, baking, etc.—are still in use today, and the Romans even had kitchens for their food preparation, which is something that is obviously still in practice in our modern times.