Around the Roman Table: Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, 2005 - 371 pages
Craving dolphin meatballs? Can't find a reliable restaurant for boiled parrot? Have a hankering for jellyfish omelettes, sows' wombs in brine, sheep's brain pate, or stuffed mice? Look no further than Around the Roman Table, a unique hybrid cookbook and history lesson. A portrait of Roman society from the vantage point of the dining table, kitchen, and market stalls, Around the Roman Table offers both an account of Roman eating customs and 150 recipes reconstructed for the modern cook.

Faas guides readers through the culinary conquests of Roman invasions—as conquerors pillaged foodstuffs from faraway lands—to the decadence of Imperial Rome and its associated table manners, dining arrangements, spices, seasonings, and cooking techniques. With recipes for such appetizing dishes as chicken galantine with lambs' brains and fish relish, Around the Roman Table is ideal for food aficionados who wish to understand how the desire for power and conquest was manifested in Roman appetites.

"There are many misconceptions about the food of ancient Rome that Faas sets out to correct. The result is half cookbook, half history book and is entirely fascinating to both chef and antiquarian alike."—Washington Times

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User Review  - milocross - LibraryThing

I won't be cooking from it, but it really gives the flavor of living in ancient Rome. Sorry about that. Couldn't resist. Read full review

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I have yet to purchase and read the entire book, but the preview has been amazing and educational and really paints a much more dynamic picture of the social staples of the various plebs, patricians, aristocrats, and military.
Specifically the available food @ the time, and how spice was so intrical to trade and daily needs of all classes.
I will update my review once I can procure the full book. I also hear that Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa's A Taste of Ancient Rome is another good book.
You learn about delicacies like the liver of drunken pigs, Stuffed Rats, - and the wine.

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About the author (2005)

Patrick Faas writes a food column in the national Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant. Shaun Whiteside has translated many books from French, German, Italian, and Dutch, including works by Freud and Nietzsche.

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