Roman Food

By Hailey Mercure

General Information

The Ancient Romans eating style was similar and different then the Americans today. Most of the Ancient Romans are poor, but the ones who were rich had many benefits related to food and eating. The slaves usually served food to the Romans. The Romans mainly ate things like fruit and vegetables. The only ate some meat. Dinner was a major event for the Romans.

What/How Did the Romans Eat?

The Romans ate many different foods, similar to what Americans eat today, like broccoli, barley, cabbage, cucumbers, garlic, sausage, and carp. They rarely ate berry's and meat. For a drink they usually had wine.

They ate by using knifes, spoons and their hands. They did not use forks when they ate.

The Rich vs The Poor

The rich Romans sat on a special dining couch called a Mensa when they ate. Usually the men sat on the Mensa. The Rich Romans ate complicated foods. One example of the complicated foods that they ate was... stuffing chicken inside a duck, then the duck inside a goose, then the goose inside pig, then pig inside a cow and cooking the whole thing together.


The poor Romans ate more simple meals. They did not have the privilege to sit on the Mensa like wheat, barley and olive oil. Which they usually put on bread or vegetables. They ate apples, honey and eggs.


Both the poor and the rich ate seafood like fish. They had seafood because they lived right on the Mediterranean so seafood is easily accessed.

What were the meals called?

Breakfast (ientaculum) Breakfast usually was a small meal consisting of porrige. After breakfast they headed off to work for the day.


lunch (prandium) Lunch was another small meal. After lunch they went back to work again.


Dinner (cena) was the main meal of the day and they usually laid on the couches (Mensa) They ate foods that may seem strange to us like mice and peacock feathers. They started eating dinner early in the day at about 3:00pm.

How was the Roman food similar and different then Americans today?

How It was Similar: Roman eating methods were similar to Americans today because we both used spoons and knives to eat.


How it was different: They used their hands to eat. We do not have rich and poor Americans sitting in different chairs. We make it fair and the rich do not have special privileges.