In our June Session we were joined by Edith Evans from Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust, who is an expert in Roman Cookery. Edith helped us to cook up a 4 course Roman feast, using real Roman recipes taken from historic documents, and replica Roman crockery, utensils and cooking equipment. Some of our members even turned up looking the part – we particularly loved the YAC badge which was holding the whole ensemble together.
The first job was to get the fire going to ensure that we had hot coals to cook on or with. Thankfully, the rain that had poured down all morning stopped just in time, so a soggy BBQ was avoided!
There was then lots of mixing, stirring, chopping, seasoning, baking, frying. Edith was very patient and guided us all through the cooking process, imparting wisdom about Roman food and cookery along the way.
Mixing our salad- the main ingredient at this stage was cabbage, which as you can see from the picture didn’t please everyone!
Carefully cracking the eggs for the Roman equivalent of a mushroom frittata.
Making sure everything was properly seasoned with our selection of Roman spices – traded and brought in all the way from India!
Finally came the feasting! Not everyone was adventurous enough to try all of our Roman foods, especially those that were unfamiliar or contained ingredients that some of us didn’t like – cabbage was a particularly hard sell to some of the members, but it all tasted delicious, and prompted a discussion about experimental archaeology and what it can teach us.
Everyone really enjoyed our journey into Roman Cookery, and a big thank you to Edith Evans for being our expert guide. We would definitely like to try more experimental archaeology in the future, especially if it involves food!