Since when do we eat appetizer, entree, dessert in that order? Have you always had a lot of alcohol to drink? We will give you a short excursion into the history of eating habits.
The known order of salad, soup, main course, dessert there is only about 250 years. Before, everything was eaten up. In addition, it was earlier also drunk much more alcohol than today. In addition: A decent amount of body was for centuries a sign of wealth, health and wealth. Today, the opposite is true. What did the diet look like earlier?
Food culture in the Roman Empire
The food culture of the Romans was significantly influenced by other cultures, for example the colonies. The rich Romans attached great importance to excellence. For breakfast there was flatbread from spelled flour with a little salt, eggs, cheese, honey and fruit. There was milk in the morning for drinking. The Romans did not attach much importance to lunches, and today it would be more like a second breakfast.
The main meal was taken by the Romans in the late afternoon. In the beginning there was a fourth meal in the evening, which was later combined with the main meal. Here is the typical Mediterranean evening meal. The poor could afford cereals and possibly vegetables. The rich let start what the country had to offer.
As an appetizer there were vegetables, salads, pickled cabbage and leeks, olives, melon and eggs, as a main course then spicy pork and poultry with a sauce that was mostly made from mackerel inns. As a side dish bread was eaten. There were dates, figs, pomegranates and grapes. Even cake was already consumed at that time. To drink there was a honey-wine mixture or diluted wine and of it usually known too much.
In the Roman Empire, great importance was attached to appropriate clothing and table manners. The table was placed in an extra equipped dining room and at least the men were allowed to lie on so-called dining sofas. Women, on the other hand, had to sit on chairs. Before and after each meal, the hands were washed because cutlery did not exist at that time. In order not to annoy the house gods, they sacrificed a sacrifice of meat, cake and wine after each main meal.
Food in the Middle Ages
In the Middle Ages, food culture depended on wealth, the region and the rules of the church. The staple foods were cereal porridge and grits eaten unsweetened as a main course and sweetened as a dessert. Bread came in the form of flatbread and crispbread. It was consumed later in the day.
Poor people could barely afford meat and stretched their expensive crops of legumes, acorns or chestnuts. The church had much to say: during Lent, for example, no meat, milk, cheese and no eggs were allowed to be eaten. Almonds and almond milk were very popular substitutes.
Gluttony, that is, meaningless eating or stuffing food into it, was considered a sin according to the commandment of moderation. In the early medieval aristocratic culture, however, one could observe this phenomenon just the other way round. During this time, it was common for everyone, including the servants, to eat together at one table. The seating order was a hierarchy in itself. The lowest ranked had to offer good food to the next in line and pick out the worse.
The role of alcohol
In ancient times, alcoholic beverages were a staple, so to speak. This was mainly due to the poor quality of the drinking water in the cities. Beer or wine contained significantly fewer pathogens and were therefore preferred, even by poor people.
Legendary three to four liters of alcoholic drinks a day were not uncommon. However, these contained less alcohol than they do today. Even small children were given light beer to drink. Likewise, in most cultures it was not considered fine to be drunk.
Warm drinks such as coffee, tea and cocoa did not reach Europe until the 17th century, but were initially reserved for the wealthy. Milk as a drink was rarely found, it was given especially to the children and the sick.