If you think that ancient Romans ate bland foods sans any taste, you are wrong because these folks prepared their food in a variety of sauces and spices. Romans were, and still are fond of spices and sauces. And no meal of theirs was complete without at least a few spices like celery, pine kernels, dried mint, coriander, parsley and dates. The most famous Roman sauce was a fish sauce that was prepared out of fish intestines. The sauce was fermented for a long time before being used to accompany meats and veggies. One sauce that was very popular in ancient Rome was garum, a fish sauce made using lots of spices.
Ancient Romans cultivated olives and did olive farming so as to get olive oil, an essential food item in most Romans’s diet. Since, Rome formed a part of the Mediterranean region, most cities and villages supported olive plantations and it was one of the most popular vegetables eaten at homes. Most Romans also consumed olives as a symbol for fertility and growth.
The common folks used olive oil to fry their food items to make it more healthy. The Roman army cooked its food in olive oil for its soldiers and made sauces out of olive oil. Most Roman people loved eating olives and used them in their daily lives too for their cleansing properties.
Ancient Roman food not merely comprised of fatty meats but also a large variety of fruits. Romans included fruits in their staple diets that consisted of peaches, plums, cherries, dates, apples, figs and grapes. Some of these fruits were used for preparing wines like grapes and cherries, while others were preserved by drying them up. Fruit preservation by drying was done so that people could eat them for a longer period of time.
When it came to favorites, it was the Carob that most Romans loved to eat. Carob was like cocoa that was used as addition in many dishes to lend taste and aroma. The Romans came to know of this chocolaty fruit from the Greeks and used it wholeheartedly. Some of them also consumed it raw.
Vegetables also formed an important part of diets of Romans who consumed a lot of veggies like legumes, lentils and beans. It were the poorer sections of Rome that depended more on veggies as meat was considered an expensive commodity. These veggies were used as accompanying food items, or were mixed into the flour to make bread.
However, there were other vegetables that were considered a delicacy and as such found place in the dining tables of the rich. These included carrots, chard, cucumbers, artichokes, asparagus and cabbage. Leeks and turnips too were used in soups for the rich. Much of the veggies were preserved by pickling them for long term use.
Roman drinks such as posca were as popular as any other food items in a Roman’s diet. Posca was a drink consumed by farmers as well as the soldiers of Roman army. The posca was prepared by adding water to a little quantity of wine and then mixing it with various spices for enhancing the taste. Since, the army received vinegar in large quantities as part of their rations, soldiers used it rampantly to make posca. By adding water to the vinegar, they made the drink consumable. Water in ancient Rome was mostly contaminated, but when added with vinegar acted as a healthy drink.