From Eggs to Apples: The Cuisine of the Ancient Romans

By Jerzy Strzelecki - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
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Taught by Andrew Coletti

Andrew Coletti is an educator and lifelong history/mythology/fantasy nerd who has been known to throw ancient dinner parties just for fun. Besides cooking and teaching he loves traveling, writing, and keeping a variety of pets. Follow his recreations of ancient recipes on, or @passtheflamingo on Instagram and Twitter.

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What delicacies could you expect to sample as the dinner guest of a Roman Emperor? What about a Roman tradesman, soldier, or shepherd: what was his idea of a decent meal? Did the Romans really relieve themselves at the “vomitorium” after overindulging, and did they really eat stuffed dormice? (Short answers to those last two questions: no and yes). Fortunately for the adventurous modern palate, the Romans wrote copiously about their own dining habits. Their literature--including cookbooks--reveals a veritable love affair with food, no less vibrant and passionate than ours is today.

In this lecture-based class, we’ll go over the ins and outs of Ancient Roman cuisine--principal ingredients and dishes, methods of preparation and serving, and how the food adapted and evolved over time. We will also sample a variety of Roman food and drink as we work our way through the Roman meal from start to finish (or as the Romans would say, ab ovo usque ad mala: from eggs to apples). No prior knowledge of cooking or history (Roman or otherwise) required!

(lecture and discussion with samples)

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