What Banquet Foods Did The Romans Eat?


In The Deadliest Lie, we learn that Miriam and Phoebe celebrated the Isis festivals at the Flamingo’s Tongue, the smoke-filled restaurant just east of the Heptastadion:

We’d order dishes like pickled cauliflower and lentil soup with buttered caraway muffins. The spicy flavors would burst on our tongues before melding into a savory mixture, rolling down our throats, and flowering in our chests. Still, we’d save room for their signature dish, marinated flamingo tongues in a spicy pepper sauce, a delicacy impossible to find elsewhere in the city. And we’d enjoy the jugglers, the performing dogs, and the acrobats in spangled costumes until the afternoon mellowed into dusk.

And in The Deadliest Hate, Miriam is served a sumptuous meal on board Cousin Eli’s ship, the Orion:

The waiters wheeled in a cart bearing a platter of roasted capons and salvers of brined olives, deviled eggs, and melon balls. Along with that, they shouldered a silver tray with a salad of wild greens and berries and a covered dish of steaming cabbage.

Flamingos and other birds such as parrots and capons were a favorite at Roman banquets. They were cooked slowly and then roasted with dill, vinegar, flour, dates, and spices. Nightingales were cooked with rose petals.

But you don’t have to go to the Flamingo’s Tongue or sail with Cousin Eli, whom Miriam found a little forward, to find out what the rich Romans ate in the first century CE. Just pick up any Miriam bat Isaac novel for a historically accurate description of their delicacies. Just click here.


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