Jump to content
Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Kenemet

Ancient Roman Snack Bars

54 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Kenemet

This is actually from March, but it's interesting.  I have been teaching about the Middle Kingdom of Egypt this week and mentioned that commerce along the river was well enough developed that they could have had early types of hotels for travelers.  Although this is from much later times, there would have been a need in large cities for something like restaurants and snack bars.  One such place was found earlier this year; the announcement story gives a nice little summary of what they found:

Quote

SOURCE: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-03/29/c_137934825.htm

ROME, March 29 (Xinhua) -- An ancient Roman snack bar, or Thermopolium, has come to light during excavations at the Pompeii archeological site on the Bay of Naples in southern Italy, archeologists announced Friday.

Thermopolia were outdoor places where drinks and hot foods were served. These goods were stored in large dolia (jars) which were embedded in the masonry serving counter.

Such establishments were located all over the ancient Roman world, with around 80 discovered at Pompeii alone, the Pompeii Archeological Park said in a statement.

 

A web page about these snack bars (with photos, which really gives a much better sense of what they were like) is here: https://www.thevintagenews.com/2016/10/05/take-out-restaurants-existed-in-ancient-rome-and-were-called-thermopolia/

The use of money made these things more possible, but surely they must have existed before there was coinage exchange.

 

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Windowpane

<< An ancient Roman snack bar, or Thermopolium

Why do thermopolia make no appearances in Asterix?   :huh:

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jaylemurph

It says no hot food was served, but I’ve seen (images, never the real thing) of places that served various meats — including a patty of ground beef served in a small bun:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/museumcrush.org/the-1500-year-old-recipe-that-shows-how-romans-invented-the-beef-burger/amp/

—Jaylemurph 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kenemet
7 hours ago, Windowpane said:

<< An ancient Roman snack bar, or Thermopolium

Why do thermopolia make no appearances in Asterix?   :huh:

I know!  Seems like a natural for the comic!  All I can think is that they didn't discover them until recently?

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tatetopa
7 hours ago, Windowpane said:

Why do thermopolia make no appearances in Asterix?   :huh:

Obilex was banned for breaking the seating?

Asterix couldn't convince the proprietors that Dogmatix was a service dog?

  • Like 3
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hammerclaw
7 hours ago, jaylemurph said:

It says no hot food was served, but I’ve seen (images, never the real thing) of places that served various meats — including a patty of ground beef served in a small bun:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/museumcrush.org/the-1500-year-old-recipe-that-shows-how-romans-invented-the-beef-burger/amp/

—Jaylemurph 

Ah, made with garum(fermented fish) sauce, the Roman equivalent of Vietnamese Nuk Mam sauce. Yum, yum.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hanslune

Has an uncomfortable resemblance to Roman lavatories.

public-toilet-in-Roman.jpg

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Manwon Lender
23 minutes ago, Hanslune said:

Has an uncomfortable resemblance to Roman lavatories.

public-toilet-in-Roman.jpg

That's what the picture is, those are Roman style toilets.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Manwon Lender
Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Kenemet said:

This is actually from March, but it's interesting.  I have been teaching about the Middle Kingdom of Egypt this week and mentioned that commerce along the river was well enough developed that they could have had early types of hotels for travelers.  Although this is from much later times, there would have been a need in large cities for something like restaurants and snack bars.  One such place was found earlier this year; the announcement story gives a nice little summary of what they found:

 

A web page about these snack bars (with photos, which really gives a much better sense of what they were like) is here: https://www.thevintagenews.com/2016/10/05/take-out-restaurants-existed-in-ancient-rome-and-were-called-thermopolia/

The use of money made these things more possible, but surely they must have existed before there was coinage exchange.

 

There are stories that the Romans ate Hummingbird tongues, but this is folklore because they never had access to them. They are only found in Central and North / South America, they are also found in the  Caribbean. However, they did eat Flamingo tongues, maybe that's how the Hummingbird tongues mith started. 

Here is a link that talks about Flamingo Tongues.  https://owlcation.com/humanities/10-Weird-and-Fascinating-Ancient-Roman-Foods

Hers a link for Hummingbirds.  https://www.thespruce.com/fun-facts-about-hummingbirds-387106

Edited by Manwon Lender
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kenemet
10 minutes ago, Manwon Lender said:

There are stories that the Romans ate Hummingbird tongues, but this is folklore because they never had access to them. They are only found in Central and North / South America, they are also found in the  Caribbean. However, they did eat Flamingo tongues, maybe that's how the Hummingbird tongues mith started. 

Here is a link that talks about it.  https://owlcation.com/humanities/10-Weird-and-Fascinating-Ancient-Roman-Foods

Hers a link for Hummingbirds.  https://www.thespruce.com/fun-facts-about-hummingbirds-387106

I think that makes a lot more sense... It would take hundreds of hummingbird tongues to make a mouthful, I think.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Manwon Lender
28 minutes ago, Kenemet said:

I think that makes a lot more sense... It would take hundreds of hummingbird tongues to make a mouthful, I think.

That's exactly what I was thinking, but for some reason that Mith is out there. The links I provided explain it in more detail.

This is a cool thread, I needed a change from Politics and death and destruction.

Thanks for starting the thread.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jaylemurph
1 hour ago, Kenemet said:

I think that makes a lot more sense... It would take hundreds of hummingbird tongues to make a mouthful, I think.

I’d never heard of Romans eating flamingo tongues (et lexi permulta de eis), but it checks out in Apicius. 

They were big fans of lark tongues, too. 

—Jaylemurph 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kenemet
11 hours ago, jaylemurph said:

I’d never heard of Romans eating flamingo tongues (et lexi permulta de eis), but it checks out in Apicius. 

They were big fans of lark tongues, too. 

—Jaylemurph 

Which kind of brings up the question: how big is a lark tongue and is it another name for something else (like prairie oysters are an alternate name for bull testicles)

Anybody got a recipe for lark tongues?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jaylemurph
15 minutes ago, Kenemet said:

Which kind of brings up the question: how big is a lark tongue and is it another name for something else (like prairie oysters are an alternate name for bull testicles)

Anybody got a recipe for lark tongues?

Looks to be a myth. Romans did eat lots of little birds (like ortelin, which the French still do, on occasion-- hooded under a napkin, so god won't see), but lark's tongue specifically seems to conflate several real factors into a myth. 

--Jaylemurph 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Piney
1 hour ago, jaylemurph said:

Looks to be a myth. Romans did eat lots of little birds (like ortelin, which the French still do, on occasion-- hooded under a napkin, so god won't see), but lark's tongue specifically seems to conflate several real factors into a myth. 

--Jaylemurph 

Interesting point. A lot of the old rural Italians in the surrounding area around here all eat songbirds. Robins, starlings and bluejays etc. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jaylemurph
14 minutes ago, Piney said:

Interesting point. A lot of the old rural Italians in the surrounding area around here all eat songbirds. Robins, starlings and bluejays etc. 

Oops. Spelled it wrong. Here’s some more info. Apparently the first bite is delicious, but the more you chew, the more bones you break and organs you eat, the less pleasant it is. 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ortolan_bunting

—Jaylemurph 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Captain Risky
2 hours ago, Kenemet said:

Which kind of brings up the question: how big is a lark tongue and is it another name for something else (like prairie oysters are an alternate name for bull testicles)

Anybody got a recipe for lark tongues?

Forgetti about larks tongue. The ultimate Roman fast food was a Mars Bar.

  • Haha 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kenemet

I'm finding lists of some very odd stuff that Romans supposedly ate. I really do wonder about the dormice.  They seem like an awfully small bite and not worth the effort.  I wonder if they're eaten elsewhere in the world.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jaylemurph
1 hour ago, Kenemet said:

I'm finding lists of some very odd stuff that Romans supposedly ate. I really do wonder about the dormice.  They seem like an awfully small bite and not worth the effort.  I wonder if they're eaten elsewhere in the world.

They would force-feed them till they doubled weight and then stuff them with various things, like millet or dates and honey. 

—Jaylemurph 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Captain Risky
9 hours ago, Kenemet said:

I'm finding lists of some very odd stuff that Romans supposedly ate. I really do wonder about the dormice.  They seem like an awfully small bite and not worth the effort.  I wonder if they're eaten elsewhere in the world.

Croatia. There was a Heston Blumenthal doco on it and after trying door mice cooked a few different ways Heston was left wondering what all the fuss was about. I’ll take his word for it in this instance. 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Captain Risky
Posted (edited)

Just want to add that the Romans feed their legions a sorta hard tack energy bar made of nuts, honey and other stuff that needed to be chewed for a long time before it could be swallowed. So the point is that bars of sweetened fruits and nuts were very popular and practical in classical times.

Edited by Captain Risky
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kenemet
8 hours ago, Captain Risky said:

Croatia. There was a Heston Blumenthal doco on it and after trying door mice cooked a few different ways Heston was left wondering what all the fuss was about. I’ll take his word for it in this instance. 

The mind boggles.  I suppose it's no odder than eating snails and it sounds rather time and food expensive (unless you just happened to have a lot of uneaten nuts hanging around)

I wonder if they're eaten bones and all (mostly) like the thrushes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kenemet
8 hours ago, Captain Risky said:

Just want to add that the Romans feed their legions a sorta hard tack energy bar made of nuts, honey and other stuff that needed to be chewed for a long time before it could be swallowed. So the point is that bars of sweetened fruits and nuts were very popular and practical in classical times.

So... granola bars?

Hmm.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mr Guitar
On 8/15/2019 at 9:07 PM, Hammerclaw said:

Ah, made with garum(fermented fish) sauce, the Roman equivalent of Vietnamese Nuk Mam sauce. Yum, yum.

Aaaachhh!! Never want to hear of or smell Vietnamese nuoc mam sauce again in this lifetime or any other.

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Piney
14 minutes ago, Mr Guitar said:

Aaaachhh!! Never want to hear of or smell Vietnamese nuoc mam sauce again in this lifetime or any other.

What about Saigon Susies and tat shops with free hep A,B,C and D? :o

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.