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Random Weirdest Foods From Ancient Roman Cuisin

  • Peacock on Random Weirdest Foods From Ancient Roman Cuisin

    (#1) Peacock

    Meat was a delicacy for people of the ancient Roman world, and oftentimes it was almost exclusively consumed by the rich. Even so, exotic meats like peacock were even more of a rarity. Peacock was mostly served as cooks tried to impress guests of the rich, and while not common, it ended up on the table enough in all forms - including peacock tongue

    According to Apicius, a collection of recipes and food facts dating back to the first century AD, peacock was among "first rank" dishes, outranking rabbit, lobster, chicken, and pork in luxury. Alongside the flesh and tongues of peacocks - parts of the animal that had to be tenderized properly - Roman elites also ate peacock eggs, again considered the top among their counterparts

  • Posca on Random Weirdest Foods From Ancient Roman Cuisin

    (#11) Posca

    While the rich drank wine and dined on delicacies, the poor had a much more pedestrian diet. Without access to the best vintages, many Romans opted for posca - water mixed with vinegar and some sort of seasoning. Posca could also include lemon juice and later came to incorporate eggs, other types of fruit juice, and some wine.

    Posca was the drink of Roman soldiers because it energized and refreshed the consumer, disinfected non-potable water, and was easy to make. Members of the lower classes drank posca and, while statesman like Cato the Elder (d. 149 BC) enjoyed the drink, elites generally stuck to wine.

    Less appealing than posca, however, was lora, a wine usually consumed by slaves. Lora was made by soaking seeds and other detritus from wine in vinegar to seep out any latent flavor.  

  • Blood Pudding on Random Weirdest Foods From Ancient Roman Cuisin

    (#10) Blood Pudding

    Blood pudding was an easy dish to cook and ingredients for the dish were readily available. Sacrificed animals and those slain in arenas were repositories of blood, featured in affordable foods like blood sausage and pudding. Blood sausage and pudding could be sold at the market, although the vendors who sold them fell fairly low on the social ladder

    Apicius suggests mixing blood with egg yolks, spices, and nuts, then putting the sauce into an intestine and cooking that mixture to perfection. In contrast to black sausages associated with the British, Roman recipes used onion to absorb the liquid instead of oats or some other grain. 

    Interestingly, one reported method of detecting Christians in ancient Rome was to offer them a blood sausage, which they were forbidden to consume. Tertullian (d. 220 AD) questioned what he saw as an ironic technique, putting forward to Christian persecutors, "What a strange thing is it, that you who are confident that the Christians are so religiously averse to the blood of beasts, should imagine them so sharp set upon the blood of men?"

  • Lamb brain on Random Weirdest Foods From Ancient Roman Cuisin

    (#6) Lamb brain

    Brains are a common food mentioned in Apicius, with those of young cows and sheep featured throughout the cookbook. One of the recipes includes such bizarre ingredients as lamb brains, eggs, pepper, and rose petals. Brains were used to stuff sausages or other meat dishes, essentially featured as stuffing

    Apicius's recipe for Apician jelly incorporates either the sweetbreads of lamb or calf with a host of ingredients including raisins, honey, mint, nuts, and cheese. Once the concoction was prepared, it was covered and buried in the snow or chilled in some other fashion until firm. 

  • Parrot on Random Weirdest Foods From Ancient Roman Cuisin

    (#3) Parrot

    One of ancient Rome's most famous gourmands was the third-century emperor Elagabalus (r. 218-222 AD), who loved hosting extravagant parties more than pretty much anything else. Ancient gossip in the Historia Augusta reports that he was a true glutton who enjoyed serving even his attendants the greatest delicacies. The text reports, "He served to the palace-attendants, moreover, huge platters heaped up with... heads of parrots, pheasants, and peacocks."

    The Roman affinity for exotic birds similarly extended to flamingo. Both parrot and flamingo were cooked by boiling the meat in salt, dill, and vinegar, later adding leeks and coriander. Apicius reports the birds were then infused with pepper, cumin, and other herbs, sweetened with dates, and braised. Some recipes included additional flavors like celery seed, mint, and shallots. 

    Romans were also interested in parrots as conversationalists. According to Pliny the Elder (d. 79 AD), the parrot was interesting due to its ability to "imitate the human voice... [and] converse." He noted, parrots "will duly salute an emperor, and pronounce the words it has heard spoken; it is rendered especially frolicsome under the influence of wine."

  • Ostrich on Random Weirdest Foods From Ancient Roman Cuisin

    (#12) Ostrich

    Another animal imported from abroad, the ostrich was a recorded rarity on Roman tables. Roman physician and philosopher Galen (d. c. 216 AD) thought they were gross; he wrote that "their flesh is full of residue" and hard to cook. Ostrich eggs were, on the other hand, highly valued. They were praised for their size and flavor

    Apicius found some value in ostrich meat, however, offering recipes for boiled ostrich and ostrich stew. Emperor Elagabalus (d. 222 AD) loved the flightless birds. According to the Historia Augusta, "Sometimes at his banquets he served ostriches, saying that the Jews had been commanded to eat them." The latter claim about Jews eating ostriches wasn't true - there was a prohibition against eating them - making this perhaps a weird practical joke on Elagabalus's part.

    On another occasion, Elagabalus "brought in the heads of six hundred ostriches in order that the brains might be eaten."

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With the continuous expansion, ancient Rome changed from a small city-state to a powerful Roman Empire. The territory of the ancient Roman Empire was very vast, with a rich variety of products and foods. The life of the Romans has undergone major changes, especially in terms of food, and the food of nobles and commoners was different. The ancient Roman nobles began to admire luxury and pleasure, which resulted in many strange foods and customs.

Are you interested in ancient Roman foods? There is never a shortage of different cuisines, the random tool focus on introducing 12 weird foods from ancient Roman, such as parrot, weasel, peacock, etc.

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