A Handbook of Food Processing in Classical Rome

For Her Bounty No Winter


Author: David Thurmond
Rome was able to support a huge urban population by providing it with the rudiments of human nutrition in the form of processed foods. This volume contains a careful analysis of those food processes. The work is organized on the basis of the presumed importance of those foods, beginning with the so-called Mediterranean Triad of cereals (particularly wheaten bread), olive oil and wine, then dealing with plant products such as legumes, vegetables and fruits, then animal products, and ending with the condiments (salts, sugars, acids, spices) which were themselves the agents for the preservation of other foods. The work combines analysis of literary and archaeological evidence from antiquity with that of traditional comparative practices and modern food science.

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David L. Thurmond received the Ph.D. in Classical Philology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1992. Research interests include archaic Roman religion, Roman social history, and Greek and Roman technology. He currently resides in Durham, NC.
List of Figures Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter One: Cereals Introduction Roman Cereal Grains Parching Threshing Winnowing Ensilage Braying of Porridge Grains Milling of Bread Grains Bolting Breadmaking Leavening Kneading Chapter Two: Olives Background Processing Harvesting Cleaning Warehousing Pulping Pressing Separation of Oil Clarification Chapter Three: Wine Biochemistry Harvest The Winery Treading the Grapes Pressing Fermentation Chaptalization Cellaring Clarification Infections Modification Aging Other Wines Tapping Chapter Four: Legumes, Vegetables and Fruits Legumes Vegetables Fruits Chapter Five: Animal Products Milk Products Soured-Milk Products Cheese Meat Fowl Mammals Fish Chapter Six: Condiments Salt Sugars Acids Spices Epilogue Bibliography Index
General readers and specialists interested in Roman social history, classical archaeology, ancient technology, and the history of science.