Roman Food History

In ancient times, what people eat and how much they eat simply gave an impact on social status of a person has in the community. Wealthy Romans tended to have feast meals every now and then wherein overflowing foods were served. However, Roman republic implemented sumptuary laws that were able to limit the food a wealthy Roman shall eat in every meal.  Eventually, the laws were dismissed and no longer a compulsory during the Imperial period.

According to the Roman food history, women that belong to the poor devoted their time in daily activity of grinding grains into flour. Thus, most of the poor Romans eat foods made for cereal grains like bread and porridges. Grinding process is like putting the grains in the middle of concave stones having a small one as roller. With this everyday living, it is believed that most of the poor Romans certainly eat any food made of cereal grain.

Eating for Romans is like taking the lead of a belief that a person must live, enjoy eating and drinking, and be glad to have the life for tomorrow may be the last day. Thus meals despite of the sumptuary law were enjoyed by the poor Romans.

Roman food history predicted that Romans has styles on how they prepare and eat their meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast, as the Romans called it jentaculum, includes bread that is salted, dried fruits, cheese and eggs, and accompanied by either milk or wine. These are the commonly served for breakfast though it is not really required nor shall be eaten all.

The lunch for Roman was called as cibus meridianus or prandium. Normally, foods for lunch are quick meals that are usually served during half time of the day. Roman lunch may include vegetables, fish, salad, cheese, meat, fruits and salted bread.

According to Roman food history, the Roman dinner also known as cena is considered as the main meal of a day. Thus it is a little festive with wine and dinner tradition is quite different from the first two meals. This may be with pancake, meal that has onions and porridges. For members of upper class, Roman dinner may include vegetables, fruits, egg, and meat. The dinner usually ended with wine drinking having Comissatio as a wine used to end the dinner meal.

Meals of the Romans are symbols of their living. Those who can serve various food in a meal can be considered richer than the other.