Roman Food

Roman Food

Episode 15

What is green, looks like a small spear and wealthy Romans loved to eat it? Answer: Asparagus

Asparagus is a member of the lily family which includes plants like onion, garlic, turnip and gladioli. Roman emperors were so fond of asparagus that they kept special asparagus ships to bring it back to Rome. The Egyptians were the first to cultivate asparagus but the Romans were the first to freeze it. Fast chariots and runners took it from the Tiber River area to the snowline of the Alps where it was kept until the Feast of Epicurus. It comes from southern Europe, northern Africa and western and central Asia.

Other items eaten during Roman meals were:
Carrots which were popular in Roman times but they weren't always orange. They could also be purple or white.
Flat bread was unleavened bread and eaten by the Jewish people.
Eggs of all kinds were eaten - including peacock eggs in fancy Roman households.
Sauces were made mostly of olive oil and eggs or mashed herbs with wine, spices and honey.

Ancient cookbooks have been found from around 200 AD which include actual Roman recipes.

Within the walls of Jerusalem during the siege, food was very scarce indeed and many of the Jews and Zealots were starving!

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