Make a Roman banquet

What exactly did the Romans eat? How similar was it to what we eat now?

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If you would like to have a printout of the activity, please download the PDF here.

Let's cook

Feeling hungry? Then it is time for the Roman banquet.

What exactly did the Romans eat? How similar was it to what we eat now?

Pottage
Pottage was perhaps the most widely eaten dish across the Roman Empire. It was a stew prepared with chopped vegetables, bits of meat (pork, chicken, beef, and mutton), cheese and herbs. It was eaten with salted bread by many Romans. The quality of pottage depended on how rich the person preparing it was. Those who could not afford to add meat and cheese used only vegetables and herbs.

What would you like to eat in your pottage?

Salads
Vegetables were abundantly available all over the Roman Empire and were a major part of the Roman diet. Many
Romans ate salads with lunch. They used vegetables and fresh and dried fruits to prepare these salads. They also added mint and parsley to make them savoury.

What type of salads do you like?

Moretum
Romans ate a cheese spread called ‘moretum’ with bread. Moretum was prepared with herbs, cheese, olive oil, salt and vinegar. Crushed nuts were also added to the spread to make it tastier.

What is your favourite type of cheese?

Dormouse
Dormice were considered a delicacy by the Romans. Romans cooked dormice on special occasions. It is said that they weighed the dormice in front of their guests before being cooked. They then roasted it much like we prepare chicken drumsticks today. Honey, cumin, dates, wine, vinegar and olive oil were used for preparing it.

Can you make imaginary dormice to eat using other kinds of ingredients?

Seafood and Game
Seafood and game were popular sources of meat in the days of the Roman Empire. Romans consumed a lot of seafood and fish sauce was a very basic part of most of their dishes. Rich Romans feasted on game birds like peacock and flamingo. A popular delicacy among the wealthy was peacock or flamingo tongues.

Can you make imaginary flamingo tongues to eat using other kinds of ingredients?

Desserts
Romans had a sweet tooth and they satisfied their craving for sweets to their heart’s content. Usually the second course of dinner comprised exclusively of desserts. Romans called it ‘mensa secunda’ or second meal. They had fruit cakes, cheesecakes, puddings, sweet egg based desserts and honey laced fruits.

What sweets would you have on your menu?

Let's eat

What food can you create to make your own Roman Banquet?

Design a menu and make your food. Your food can be non-edible, made from materials you have around the house, or you can draw, colour it in and cut it out from paper, or ask for help in the kitchen and let your inner chef go! 

When you are ready, set the table, fill your head pot with a drink, flowers, or leave empty for decoration. 

Wear your toga, enjoy your meal, and why not play a game of Rota afterwards to relax!

Share

Why not make a scrap book of your Roman adventure?

Include your drawings, photographs of your creations and memorable quotes! Photograph the pages in your scrap book and send it to sslm@twmuseums.org.uk to be displayed on our Face Book Roman Day Gallery Album.

Before you go

Take our tongue twister challenge.

See if you can say Rumbustious Ruling Romans five times fast.

Can you add other words starting with the letter “R” to make it longer and more difficult?

We look forward to sharing your Roman Day.