What Did the Romans Eat for Breakfast?

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For breakfast, common Romans ate small, flat loaves of bread that were salted. For those who were wealthier, a typical breakfast also included milk or wine, fruit, cheese, eggs and honey.

The Roman breakfast was called jentaculum and consisted of fairly simple foods, according to About.com. Lunch, or prandium, was a similar meal, although it might include leftovers from the day before as well as a meat or fish dish. Dinner, or cena, as the Romans called it, was much more sumptuous. This meal included several courses of food. The first course was lettuce and eggs; eggs were an important aspect of the ancient Roman diet. Sometimes more exotic food items were served during this meal, such as oysters, mussels and sea urchins. Dessert included fruit that was in season, such as apples, pears, grapes, figs and dates, nuts, cheese, honey and cake. Wine was a also big part of cena.

Poor Romans lived mostly on grains, making a porridge from grain, water and milk. For awhile, however, the Roman Republic instituted the sumptuary laws that served to keep the rich from eating too extravagantly. The poor ate from tables and chairs, but the rich took their meals while reclining on couches.