At dawn bread and cheese or vegetables were consumed or what was left over from dinner.
There did not exist the idea of lunch, but sorts of snacks were served in the numerous taverns of the era called: ‘thermopòlia’. Meals consisted of flat bread or ‘focacce’, fried fish, eggs, olives, sausages and also sweetmeats and fruit. Dishes could even be bought from street vendors.
Around 4 o’clock in the afternoon they had dinner, concluded in the evening. It consisted of starters based on eggs and olives, then going on to meat and stuffed fish and finally a sweet and fruit.
The dining rooms or ‘triclìnia’ were among the most important areas of the home. And banquets were held both inside and outside in the garden. Each ‘triclìnium’ consisted of three beds or loungers laid out in a U shape. Upon each of these 3 invited guests sat. They would eat lying down while leaning on their left elbow. The place reserved for the honoured guest was generally at the far left upon the central lounger while the owner of the house would lie at his side, on the lounger to the left.
Their dinners were cheered up by readings and recitals, singers, minstrels and dancers.
After dinner they had drinks were had in a clean ‘triclìnia’.
The crockery consisted of bowls, jugs, cups. People ate with their hands; forks did not exist. However, spoons and knives have been found. Small bowls with water were served to customers to wash their hands.
During meals they prevalently ate aromatic meat and often seawater or fresh water fish: fried, boiled or roasted and served with a sauce.
Among the costly dishes was the ‘gàrum’ , a fish pickle left to ferment in the sun. It was conserved in brine and was often mixed with wine, vinegar or aromatic herbs and was used to give flavour to an infinity of meat dishes.
Wine was the most common drink. There was red and white. It was diluted with water and seasoned with honey, spices or herbs. A cheap drink was ‘pòsca’, vinegar diluted in water.
Wine from Herculaneum was highly praised of in literary sources and constituted an important source of income for the city.
The local figs were also famous and were distinguished by their variety.
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