The antique kitchen
When it comes to eating and drinking habits of the Romans, not only written but also archaeological sources are available, which allow a good overview.
Plato describes the Roman cuisine in "The Banquet" and in the infamous "Cena Trimalchionis". Unfortunately, there is only one specialty cookbook, the Marcus Gravius ??Apicius ("Res conquinaria"), found. It is assumed, however, that the Romans their recipes not necessarily in written form.
Foods preserved in ashesArchaeological excavations are still used today to promote eating and drinking utensils, cooking pots and storage vessels, eating utensils, sieves and other kitchen utensils from Roman cuisine. In the representation of food or even the scenes of the party, there is plenty of visual material - even in the original! For example, after the eruption of Vesuvius foodstuffs were preserved in ash.
No banquet without decorative tablewareDecorative tableware was self-evident to the Romans. Typical is the terra sigillata. A list of important Terra Sigillata vascular forms gives an overview of the different vascular types of Roman Terra Sigillata (TS). Since the forms have chronological developments due to fashion and taste, the shape of the vessels forms an important dating feature in addition to the punches of decorated vessels and pottery stamps. In addition, TS is present on almost every Roman-Roman site. The forms are usually named after eponymous foundations such as Haltern, Hofheim or Hesselbach or after important researchers such as Déchelette, Dragendorff or Ritterling. For a typical Roman banquet an absolute must!
Roman Cuisine - How the Romans dinedThe food culture, the Roman cuisine and the feast were highly appreciated in antiquity. The banquet, the food and drink with friends, had their focus not only on the palate, but also on the ideas and speeches presented in the form of table talks. This supper accompanied more or less edifying entertainments and philosophies. But also spontaneous dinner in the small circle often. Roman hosts were more hospitable and more improvisational than in today's time.
One dined in the triclinium, which has its name from the Greek "three Klinen" (Liebesofas), which clustered around a rectangular table. The minimum number for a banquet was three persons. In general, the banquet was a pure "male affair". It was rare for women to be between the guests. A banquet started at the ninth hour (in the summer around 4 pm, in the winter around 2 pm). To the beginning there was the appetite stimulating gustus; Gustatio, which served as an aperitif mostly honey wine (mulsum). The actual food (fercula), which consisted mostly of three courses, was served with wine. Desserts were fruits, pastries or spicantes.