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Word Count: 458
Italy is blessed above all the other countries of central Europe with the natural conditions that go to yield an abundant and varied supply of food The soil is richthe rainfall is abundant and rivers and smaller streams are numerous Johnston 203 In the ancient Roman world A wide variety of fruits and vegetables were grown both in the rural setting and also in city gardens According to Florence Dupont gardens were productive all year round and were tended by hand manured and carefully protected from cold winds or the scorching sun She goes on to say that gardens were used to grow the staple vegetables of the Roman diet brassicas greens marrows sorrel cucumbers lettuces leeks A different part of the garden would be given over toplants that add savour to food and appease hunger garlic onions cress chicory Dupont 99-100 Broad beans and cabbage were also grown extensively Next to the vegetables so important to the Romans the foremost crop was emmer wheat Wheat was either baked into bread or boiled into a type of porridge similar to grits or cream of wheat Olives were another most prominent crop The olives were eaten but more importantly their oil was used extensively in cooking and for other purposes such as fuel for lamps perfume and body oils Grapes were also of extensively cultivated providing their fruit and of course the wine that nearly all Romans drank well watered down or mixed with honey at every meal The remains or dregs of the grapes left after wine was made was used as a preservative for foods Dupont 102 Meat was used sparingly by the majority of Romans During the early Republic it had been eaten only when an animal was sacrificed to the gods Later meat was used more often a small amount added to the daily porridge a chicken or pig slaughtered on the farm to feed the family From
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