Common Romans Research Paper

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Food For The Common Romans Romans, contrary to popular belief, cooked and ate very simple diets from mainly local ingredients. Many people think that Romans ate incomparable amounts of food, then vomited, only to return to stuffing themselves again. Though this may be true for the elite Romans, this does not apply to the majority of Romans, the common Romans. Not only did they not want to gorge themselves, most of them were forced to eat this way by their financial situations. (Matz 23) There are many similarities in the way they ate, compared to the way that people eat now. David Matz says, “The ancient Romans, like their modern counterparts, consumed three meals per day.”(23). The first, breakfast, was called Jentaculum. You would most…show more content…
David Matz composed a list of the most consumed vegetables: “beans, peas, onions, radishes, lettuce, cabbage, celery, and cucumbers.” (23) According to Rich Hamper, “Beans and peas were an important part of lower class diets and were sold dried or in tabernae or by street vendors hot.” Some of the vegetables served a specific purpose in their diets. Hamper states, “Lettuce was considered a laxative by the Romans…. Mallow leaves were considered good for the digestion.” Hamper also tells us, “Garlic was believed to give soldiers courage.” Romans relied upon foods to keep them healthy, and they were very conscious of what they put in their…show more content…
Not only did the elites enjoy it, but the commoners ate it also. Cheese was even a part of a soldier’s daily rations! Usually made of goat or sheep’s milk, it was easier on their stomachs than our modern day cow’s milk cheese. (Cooks) Where did they get their food? The commoners either bought their food from local markets or grew it themselves. According to David Matz the following cities produced their own specialty products: Falernus made the best wine, Campania grew the best corn, Casinum made the best oil, Tusculum grew the best figs, the sweetest honey came from Tarentum, and the best fish came straight out of the Tiber River. (25) Each city was proud of its markets, but very few people had the resources to travel to distant cities for food. That is why the Romans grew their food themselves, or bought it locally. What you ate, and how you ate it depicted your place in society. Not all food was cooked at home; believe it or not, the ancient Romans could actually get what we call fast food. Some restaurants even brought it their wagons, preventing the need to get out! (Matz 24) Rarely, if ever, would you see a high ranked family at a “fast food” joint. Unlike today’s society, eating out meant you were lowly and couldn’t afford servants to cook for you. Not just where or how you ate, but what you ate showed your social class. For example, eating brown bread showed that you were of a lowly class, while eating white bread showed your importance. (Cooks)

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