Torch:U.S. LXV Summer 2016 - Page 9

Dinner: Possibly the most important meal of the day, the meal can last for hours, starting at around 2 PM for Romans and at nightfall for the Greeks. The Greeks ate a variety of food, quail or hen eggs, fish, bread, soup, and, if wealthy, meat. The Romans were similar; they ate porridge, and, if rich, the meal included eggs, cheese, and meat. The Roman dinner meal is very similar to our three-course meal consisting of an appetizer (gustatio), main course (primae mensae), and dessert (secundae mensae).

Ancient Greek men ate their meals separately from the females. At banquets, after eating, the men would play a game, such as kottabos, where they would choose a “king,” who would decide how much water to mix with the wine.

Romans could take home a doggy bag in their mappae, or napkin. They ate in the triclinium, lying down on couches arranged in a horseshoe pattern with their heads pointing towards the main couch.

The Ancient Greek’s cuisine was preserved through art and literature. Likewise, for the Romans, in the Apicus, a collection of Roman recipes.

Around the Mediterranean, Greece and Rome were usually stuck with foods in the area: barley, olive oil, and wine.

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Feature ∙ Torch: U.S. ∙ Summer 2016

Similar to how many we have condiments such as ketchup and mustard, the Romanss had garum, a fish sauce. According to PBS, the ancient recipe requires fish resting out in the sun for many days. Here is a more practical approach to making garum:

1. Reduce a quart of grape juice to one-tenth its original volume.

2. Dilute two tablespoons of anchovy pasted with the concentrated juice

3. Mix in a pinch of oregano

Garum was eaten with many Roman dishes, including eggs.

Credits: PBS.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/roman-recipes.html

Left: A garum factory in ruins in Spain

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