Roman Food and Feast

Week 10: We prepared several Roman dishes and had a grand feast.

Imagine Italian food without tomatoes or pasta. The Ancient Romans ate a wide variety of foods. Some of their favorites were olives, olive oil, vinegar, fish sauce, honey, wheat, vegetables, and grapes, but no tomatoes. Tomatoes came from the Americas several years after the fall of the Roman Empire. Some of the Roman dishes we prepared were items we commonly eat, but others were quite new.

The Romans ate lying down on couches and belched a lot because it was polite. Before meals both hands and feet were washed by slaves. Since there were no forks they ate with fingers and washed in dipping bowls that often contained flower petals.

Fruit Tray
Roasted Vegetables
Ovis Apalis (Deviled Eggs)
Isicia Omentata (Hamburger)
Dulcia Domestica (Stuffed Dates)
Libum (Cheese Cake)

My friend Laurie did an outstanding job preparing this lesson. If I was in charge of food we probably would have created one of these dishes and called it good. I was impressed with how well organized and ambitious she was. The feast was a super success.

Bread, olives and olive oil were the simplest items on the menu. All Romans ate bread, but the poor people ate bread known as black bread. It was very dark in color because it contained bugs, rocks and dirt. Sadly, it was responsible for chipping and rotting many Roman teeth.

The kids cut up three types bread from the German Bakery which we ate by dipping the pieces in olive oil and vinegar.

Fruit Tray
The Romans had a vast trading networks, so food was not limited to what could be grown locally. Apples from the north and figs from the east were some of the available fruits.

Roasted Vegetables
Both rich and poor Romans consumed a variety of vegetables which they often ate with olive oil. Leeks, onions, broccoli, beans and carrots were roasted and sprinkled with salt and olive oil for our Roman vegetable dish.

Ovis Apalis
Ovis Apalis is somewhat similar to deviled eggs. Hard boiled eggs were topped with a mixture of pine nuts, fish oil, vinegar and honey. Although the fish oil didn't smell very good, the eggs tasted great. All the kids ate theirs and I went back for seconds.

Isicia Omentata
Isicia Omentata are similar to hamburgers or meatballs, except the ingredients used for stuffing are quite different.

Pine nuts, vinegar, grape juice, fish sauce and a roll were mixed together.

 The mixture was combined with ground beef.

The meat was rolled into balls and flattened into patties. Ours were cooked in the oven inside aluminum foil. To me they tasted like meat balls, but better. They had a tangy taste which was probably due to the juice and vinegar. I would definitely make them again.

Dulcia Domestica
Dulcia Domestica are salted dates, stuffed with nuts and cinnamon, then cooked in honey and grape juice.
 Ours were stuffed with crushed almonds, hazelnuts and cinnamon.

The smell alone is a good reason to make this dish. Heating honey and grape juice just fills the house with happiness.

Flour, eggs, ricotta cheese, honey, and bay leaves are the only ingredients required to make Libum - a sort of Roman Cheesecake.
Bay leaves were soaked in honey and then poured over the warm bread.

 This got my vote for favorite Roman dish.

To see our other Roman History activities please visit our History Page.

This post is linked to: 
Montessori Monday
Tots and Me
Funky Polkadot Giraffe
Mom's Library
Tried it Tuesday
Trivium Tuesday
Hip Homeschool Hop
A Mama's Story
Keeping it Simple


  1. Julie - I love it! Post to our WW link-up this week! Here is a post from my Roman studies with the kids last year Love bringing it alive for kids! Awesome!

  2. What a great idea! I absolutely love food and cooking/baking, but never thought to incorporate foods from the areas of the world we are studying. I think my kiddos would love this.

  3. What a spread! I love it!!

  4. How fun! What a great idea for incorporating into your studies. We're studying ancients next year - I'm thinking we're going to have to do a few feasts!

  5. Wow!! This is amazing! Kudos to you and your kids! :)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  6. What a wonderful feast! We did this for our Ancient Greece studies a few months ago and some of the foods are similar. You've made it easy for me for once we get to an Ancient Rome celebration...thanks!

  7. I'll be honest that most of this does not sound very yummy, lol! I really love that you included your children in the prep work, though. Such fun!

    1. That's funny. You must not like fish. The sauce gave it a tangy taste, but the dates and bread were delicious.

  8. Did you use raw or dried dates? Wanting to do a Roman feast tomorrow...


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