As an archaeologist and food historian, I offer culinary archaeology workshops, featuring the history of Mediterranean and European cuisines.
Ancient recipes surprise with their – for us – unusual combination of tastes and aromas, blending the salty, the sweet, the sour and the spicy into astounding combinations.
Roman mosaic, 2nd century AD, Museo Vaticano
Roman bread was baked from various grains, barley being among the most common ingredients.
The asaroton (=unswept) motive depicts a floor covered in the leftovers of a feast. This specific one from the 2nd century AD can be found in the Musei Vaticani.
Medieval dinner at Trullo Cicerone
Crepes with chicken and apples cooked in spiced wine, a dish from a 1350 cookbook.
Cooking on a spit. Illustration from an edition of The Decameron, Flanders, 1432.
Pies were a common way of preparing meat in Medieval times. (Detail from a still life by Adriaen van Utrecht)
A page from “Daz buoch von guoter spîse” (“the book of good food”), one of the earliest Medieval cookbooks, from Würzburg, around 1350
Fish was expensive in Ancient Rome but due to fasting regulations more common in Medieval times.