The ancient Romans were similar to today's
generations in their eating
habits but never ate three hearty meals a day. Ientaculum and prandium were
merely appetizers that filled their stomachs unitl the large cena, the event
they look forward to since awakening. They had names for their meals similar to
ours, breakfast (ientaculum), lunch (prandium), and dinner (cena).
Breakfast, ientaculum was usually taken about nine o'clock and consisted
of merely a few pieces of bread sprinkled in salt or dipped in wine, and with a
few raisins and olives, and a little cheese added. The poorest Romans ate
little other than wheat either crushed to make a porridge or ground into flour
Lunch, or prandium was usually taken at noon. It was usually nothing
more than a piece of bread accompanied by cold meat, vegetables, and fruit
washed down with a glass of wine. Both ientaculum and prandium were so short
there was no need to set the table or wash ones hands.
The only serious meal was the evening dinner or cena. Dinner time was
practically the same for all Romans due to the lack of artificial light. Dinner
was after the bath at the end of the eigth hour in winter and at the ninth in
summer. The food is mostly cold,-breads, salads, olives, cheeses, and meats
remaing from last nights dinner. Occasionally, hot dishes such as ham and pig's
heads are feasted upon. Some wealthy Romans would have as many as seven courses
to feed on.
Trimalchio, a wealthy Roman would have a bronzed donkey with appetizer
dishes of olives, stuffed dormice rolled in honey and poppy seed, hot sausages
were laid on a silver grill next to pomegranate and damson seeds. The guests
were still busy with the hors d'oeuvres when a tray would be brought in with a
basket on it, in which there was a wooden hen spreading her wings. Under the
straw were Peahen eggs that would base passed out. Each egg contained a fat
becafico rolled up in spiced egg yolkf. There were... [continues]
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(1999, 10). Ancient Roman Meals. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Ancient-Roman-Meals-3632.html
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"Ancient Roman Meals." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Ancient-Roman-Meals-3632.html.