Dormice and Other Ancient Delicacies

Nicholas C. Rossis

I have a confession: besides writing, I love cooking and I love food.

Perhaps that explains why the parts I enjoy most in fantasy or historical fiction books concern the little things – things like food and drink. What kind of dinner do the protagonists enjoy, given that modern staples such as tomatoes and potatoes didn’t exist until fairly recently?

Let’s have a look at what an ancient Greek or Roman dinner table looked like.

Ancient Greece

Olive oil | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookThis could have been taken two millennia ago

Alexander the Great’s conquest of the East introduced the Greeks to the joys of lemons and ice cream. Indeed, Alexander has been described as an ice cream addict.

However, ancient Greek food was much simpler, consisting mainly of cereals – most prominently barley, emmer, and einkorn. Legumes like lentils, peas, and chickpeas were also popular.

These were used to produce not just stews but…

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