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Ancient Romans Ate Meals Most Americans Would Recognize

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Archaeologists studying the eating habits of ancient Etruscans and Romans have found that pork was the staple of Italian cuisine before and during the Roman Empire. Both the poor and the rich ate pig as the meat of choice, although the rich, like Piso, got better cuts, ate meat more often and likely in larger quantities.

They had pork chops and a form of bacon. They even served sausages and prosciutto; in other words, a meal not unlike what you'd find in Rome today -- or in South Philadelphia....

 

via Science 2.0

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Interesting. I read somewhere that foreigners derided the Romans in the early history of their state as 'porridge eaters'. But then, the poor were more likely to receive 'corn' than handouts of meat, and we know that bread was their staple. Meat for the poor was an optional extra and whether it was welcome and pork-shaped, not as prevalent as bread.

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The production of genuine Parma Ham is the story of a special relationship between man and nature. Since Roman times, the unique conditions of the Parma region have made it possible to produce the highest quality hams that have been appreciated by gourmets for centuries. 'Prosciutto' is from the Latin 'perexsuctum' meaning 'dried' - an indication of the purity of Parma Ham production and its ancient roots.

It was in 100 BC that Cato the “Censor” first mentioned the extraordinary flavour of the air cured ham made around the town of Parma in Italy; the legs were left to dry, greased with a little oil and could age without spoiling. A tasty meat was obtained which could be eaten over a period of time while maintaining its pleasant flavour. Even earlier, in 5BC, in the Etruscan Po river valley, salted preserved pork legs were traded with the rest of Italy and with Greece.

 http://www.prosciuttodiparma.com/en_UK/prosciutto

 

The history of Prosciutto di Parma dates back to the Roman period. Parma was located at the heart of the Cisalpine Gaul, a province of the Roman Republic. In De Re Rustica, Varrone wrote that the local inhabitants raised large herds of pigs and were particularly skilled in curing ham. In the 2nd century, Cato wrote De Agricoltura and included a technical explanation for making prosciutto, a process that has essentially unchanged.

http://www.academiabarilla.com/the-italian-food-academy/meats-charcuterie/prosciutto-parma-1.aspx

 

My relatives are from Reggio Emilia, near Parma. They love that prosciutto. Not me, however.

Despite what many say, pigs are among the smartest and most gentle animals on the planet.

 

 

guy also known as gaius

Edited by guy

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From Apicius, for your delectation.

 

recipe #251 Vulvae steriles

Sterile sow's womb (also udder and belly) is prepared in this manner: take laser from Cyrene or Parthia, vinegar and broth, stuff with vegetables and herbs, sew tight and roast.

 

mmmmm!

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That certainly rivals McDonalds... :D

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From what im told by the family, many of the current traditions that Italians follow e.g Wine making, tomato sauce, bread, salami etc were all continuations from back in the old days. so it stands to reason that a lot of what was eaten back then would be familiar to us all now.

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