By David L Thurmond
Rome used to be in a position to aid a big city inhabitants by way of supplying it with the rudiments of human food within the type of processed meals. This quantity encompasses a cautious research of these foodstuff tactics. 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 akin to legumes, greens and culmination, then animal items, and finishing with the condiments (salts, sugars, acids, spices) that have been themselves the brokers for the maintenance of alternative meals. The paintings combines research of literary and archaeological facts from antiquity with that of conventional comparative practices and glossy foodstuff technology.
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Extra info for A Handbook of Food Processing in Classical Rome: For Her Bounty No Winter
1. The Anatomy of a wheat spikelet. Note that glumes are separate from the seed pod itself. So-called ‘husked’ wheats have lemma and palea fused with the epicarp of the kernel, whereas ‘naked’ wheats have loosely attached palea and lemma and can therefore be threshed without parching. 16 Of the so-called ‘naked’ wheats, the Romans knew Triticum durum and T. vulgare. The former, called rather confusingly by the Romans simply triticum, is the tough durum or semolina wheat still used to make pasta.
5. The so-called Porticus Aemilia, a huge horreum, or warehouse, along the Tiber River in the southwest part of the city, showing the Romans’ increasing conﬁdence in barrel vaulting. (From William L. MacDonald, The Architecture of the Roman Empire (1982): Plate 1a. MacDonald’s photo of the model city at the Museum of Roman Civilization at Rome. Courtesy of Yale University Press). ”40 In short, a cool, dry, well ventilated ediﬁce where bulk commodities of all sorts, including grains, could be safely stored.
T. vulgare, called by the Romans siligo, is common bread wheat. This latter was unquestionably the most desirable breadmaking wheat in Rome, especially when its seed coat, the bran, had been removed. 17 Parching It will already have become obvious to the reader that the various steps in the processing of these grains was largely dictated by their individual physiological structure. Let us turn our attention to these processes. Unfortunately for the researcher, the three most important forms of food processing on Roman villa farms, the prototype Roman agribusiness, were evidently contracted out to itinerant entrepreneurs.