Food of the Romans

Photo by Hans Splinter

The variety of food eaten by the Romans is shown by analysis of the latrines and rubbish dumps as well as the cook books that survive.

Many foods were introduced to Britain and recent DNA analysis even shows the British Apple came from North Western China through Roman invasion.

The following foods were introduced and consumed

  • lentils
  • black pepper
  • cherries

In Scotland only Inveresk has been analysed for fishbones and thsi shows the principla fish eaten as salmon, eel herring, mackeral cod and haddcok among others. A staple of the Roman diet was eel, eaten across britain. A study shows the ditribution across the country and the regional variations. (Locker, Alison. “In Piscibus Diversis; the Bone Evidence for Fish Consumption in Roman Britain.” Britannia, vol. 38, 2007, pp. 141–180. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/30030572. Accessed 20 June 2020. )

A wider account of the Roman diet can be found in the first century cookbook “Cooking and Dining in Imperial Rome” by Apicus now available in English from 2009 at Project Gutenberg’s Cooking and Dining in Imperial Rome, by Apicius.

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