Roman Diet

Much of the staple Roman diet is the same as we eat today, however the food of the poor and the wealthy could be very different.

Poor People

Their diet consisted mainly of cereal, porridge and bread. They would make a thick stew called Pottage. This contained corn or wheat. They would eat fruit, but fish and meat were a luxury unless they could kill it themselves. Some would own goats, chicken or cows and this would give them a supply of eggs and cheese.

Poor people ate as a family seated at a large table.

Wealthy People

Their diet consisted of bread, cheese, varied fruit such as apples, grapes, figs and vegetables. Meat and fish were plentiful and cooked in rich sauces.

A speciality at this time was dormice, but they also ate oysters, snails, songbirds and peacock tongues.

Wealthy people were served by slaves and would eat their food while lounging on sofas.

Romans would eat three meals a day.

  • Breakfast (Ientaculum) – Bread and fruit.
  • Lunch (Prandium) – Meat, cheese, eggs, bread and vegetables.
  • Main Meal (Cena) – Fish, meat, vegetables, fruit and cheese.

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