We carry culture via three methods: language, music, and food. I have been studying ancient Roman foodways while working on Pompeii Fire. While I’ve only reproduced one recipe to date (a chard dish that was a huge hit in our household), I have others in the pipeline. Here is some excellent information on ancient Greek and Roman foodways, via Nicholas Rossis.
I have a confession: besides writing, I love cooking and I love food.
Perhaps that explains why the parts I enjoy most in fantasy or historical fiction books concern the little things – things like food and drink. What kind of dinner do the protagonists enjoy, given that modern staples such as tomatoes and potatoes didn’t exist until fairly recently?
Let’s have a look at what an ancient Greek or Roman dinner table looked like.
Alexander the Great’s conquest of the East introduced the Greeks to the joys of lemons and ice cream. Indeed, Alexander has been described as an ice cream addict.
However, ancient Greek food was much simpler, consisting mainly of cereals – most prominently barley, emmer, and einkorn. Legumes like lentils, peas, and chickpeas were also popular.
These were used to produce not just stews but…
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