Work stopped at noon for a bite to eat. Prandium was, in Rome, just a snack to hold everyone until supper, even for those who returned home to eat.

Since most Roman kitchens were quite small, and poorer households might have none at all, there were cauponae and popinae aplenty in the City that offer hot meals to the citizenry. Most Romans simply popped into a tavern, or purchased food from a street vendor at the noon hour and perhaps again after attending the public baths.


Lentil & Barley Soup

, Mark Grant

  • 2 oz. pearl barley
  • 3 oz red lentils
  • 1 leek
  • a bunch of fresh dill
  • a bunch of fresh savoury
  • sea salt

Put barley and lentils in a large casserole dish and add three pints of water. Soak overnight or at least six hours. Slice leek, finely chop dill and savoury and put these together with the salt into the casserole. Cover and simmer gently for one hour. Taste before serving, adding salt as required. Serve with lagana.


, Mark Grant

  • 4 oz wholemeal flour
  • 3 fl. oz. water
  • olive oil for frying

Measure flour into a bowl and add water. Knead into a stiff dough, adding more flour or water as needed. Flour a breadboard and roll out the ball, turning dough frequently to avoid sticking. When dough is nearly paper-thin, cut into 1 inch wide by 1 1/2 inch long pieces. Pour olive oil into frying pan, heat and add dough. Fry on each side until golden and crisp. Serve with soup or casseroles.

Sources: , by Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa
, Mark Grant