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Strange eating habits

PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:11 pm
by Tiberius Dionysius Draco

It is a known fact that the upper class Romans used to throw up their food after dining, to be able to eat some more.

So I was wondering if anybody else knows some strange eating habits. And by the way, why did they eat while lying, it seems pretty impractical to me.


PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2004 6:31 pm
by Gnaeus Dionysius Draco
Salve Tiberi,

What I recall from the brief classes on this topic is that Romans also loved to transform food into other food, so that the guests would be tricked into thinking they were eating X, while it was actually Y. What I also recall is that they didn't have sugar, and instead used honey to sweeten up meals.

Vale bene,

Hows about thiss

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 2:31 am
by Anonymous

Brains, now that's a wierd dish anyway it gets srved. But I have heard that in the Med. even today Greeks and Turks and maybe Italians and others will eat calves and kids brains.

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 4:27 am
by Primus Aurelius Timavus
I've eaten cows' brains at a junior high school biology class. Once you get past the disgust, they're not bad (with lemon).

The wierdest thing that I've ever eaten is monkey testicles made into a spread for crackers in Venezuela. My hosts didn't tell me what it was until after I had tried it. I don't remember what it tasted like.


PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 6:47 am
by Anonymous

Words fail me - that is gross. I mean that its yucky to me personally. People around the world eat lots of things tht we in America and Europe wouldn't eat. That is just how it is.

Still, I thought eating something like brains was a bit ichy and monkey nuts - no way. And yes, I have herd of Rocky Mountain Oysters (bull tetes I think) but I don't really want to try them... still people will eat anything edible that win't kill them. I am sure the Romans did too...

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2005 8:16 pm
by Cleopatra Aelia
Salvete Omnes,

I assume it was only the rich people who ate weird things like stuffed bull testicles etc. and they had enough money to prepare those meals where they turned X into Y as Draco had put it.

The poorer people cooked "normal" stuff and I have a recipe book where two cooks tried out Ancient Roman recipes based on the collection of Apicius. They used a lot of herbs and spices to season the food and of course the infamous garum which is replaced in those recipes by Vietnamese fish sauce. Draco was right when he said they used honey to sweeten things, which is by the way much healthier than sugar so I use it to sweeten my cuppa tea.

Those simpler recipes are really edible and one of those dishes became my favorite dish so I prepare it rather often.

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 1:50 pm
by Gnaeus Dionysius Draco
Seeing as we get topics like that on a regular basis, perhaps SVR should make a cookbook to make some profit ho ho 8).


PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 12:49 am
by Victoria Aurelia Ovensa
Actually, it's often the poor folks who eat anything and everything. "Waste not, want not". Any part of an animal that's even vaguely edible will be made palateable and eaten. Just look at any traditional Chinese cookbook and you will find recipes using various animals' tails, feet, innards, heads, genitalia, almost anything you can think of. Look at even British foods such as blood pudding and haggis, or such charming dishes as "head-cheese" or fried pork rinds. All such dishes developed out of the necessity of the poor people to use as much of the animal as possible for their own nourishment. They could not afford to waste anything.
Novelty foods from other cultures or even other classes would be adopted with glee by the aristocracy, either out of boredom, curiosity or simply for the "shock" value of it all (in their eyes, of course). But, strangely enough, it's usually the upper classes who have the most conservative cuisine in terms of variety, albeit the most extravagant in terms of volume and presentation.

Odd Eating

PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:30 am
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
Salvete omnes -

Thais made the point I was about to, that it's often the poor who eat all the odd, antique or merely scrappy sorts of foods - "don't waste it!" is the motto. It seems that as people rise in wealth or station, then what they eat is modified by worries about what is cleaner to eat, what is more dignified to eat, what is more fashionable to eat, and by the urge to only the tastiest foods.
Yet - in the end - if the middle class eschews bull testicles, then I would expect the rich to rediscover them (perhaps with magic significance attached) and to count them rare and precious.