A Handbook of Food Processing in Classical Rome: For Her by David Thurmond

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By David Thurmond

Rome used to be capable of aid an immense city inhabitants via supplying it with the rudiments of human meals within the type of processed meals. This quantity includes a cautious research of these nutrition methods. The paintings is geared up at the foundation of the presumed significance of these meals, starting with the so-called Mediterranean Triad of cereals (particularly wheaten bread), olive oil and wine, then facing plant items corresponding to legumes, greens and culmination, then animal items, and finishing with the condiments (salts, sugars, acids, spices) which have been themselves the brokers for the upkeep of alternative meals. The paintings combines research of literary and archaeological facts from antiquity with that of conventional comparative practices and sleek foodstuff technological know-how.

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Extra resources for A Handbook of Food Processing in Classical Rome: For Her Bounty No Winter (Technology and Change in History) (Technology and Change in History)

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Pliny50 specifies a wooden mortar with a wooden pestle the end of which is capped with iron, the particular form having the advantage over stone that it does not completely pulverize the kernel. Cato in his list of utensils has a far pestle51 as well as a wheat mortar,52 suggesting that different forms of the implements were adapted to different tasks, at least on the well appointed villa farm that Cato envisions. The process itself is easy enough to imagine, though even here there were specific adaptations for the specific grains and the desired quality of groats to be derived from them.

Certainly mortars and pestles are frequently found in archaeological contexts which clearly identify commercial millbakeries, but mortars can be used for braying any number of substances useful to the baker, most notably salt. For what it is worth, Cato57 says that the vilica (overseer’s wife), the housekeeper of the Roman villa farm, should know how to make flour and fine emmer groats, implying a domestic chore. ) the work of convicti, slaves chained together and undergoing punishment. 76. Agr. 3.

71 Frankel (2003): 2. 72 Frankel (2003): 6–7 and Fig. 6. 73 Mortitz (1958): 97–121. 74 E. Cecil Curwen, “Querns,” Antiquity 11 (1937): 133–51; idem, “More about cereals 41 Fig. 8. Models of hand querns (molae manuariae) from Britain, both pre-Roman (A) and Roman (B–E). (From Storck and Teague (1952): Fig. 48. Courtesy of University of Minnesota Press). literary evidence for the rotary quern comes from the pseudo-Vergilian poem, Moretum, “The Salad”, ll. 24–29: “The humble farmer then calls his hands to the work [of milling], dividing it between them; the left hand is intent on serving, the right on the working of the mill.

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