字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント When we say Italian food, we often think of many popular and delicious dishes like tagliatelle pasta with Bolognese sauce, chicken Parmesan, and, of course, pizza. We rarely think of the dishes that were popular with the ancient Romans like dolphin meatballs, parrot heads, and fermented fish guts. The people of Rome routinely chowed down on things most modern-day folk would shudder to even think about putting in their mouth. Today, we're going to take a look at the weirdest foods from ancient Roman cuisine. But before we get started, be sure to subscribe to the Weird History channel. And let us know in the comments below what other culinary topics you would like to hear about. OK, put your bib on. We're about to sink our teeth into some creepy Roman food. [MUSIC PLAYING] For the people of the ancient Roman world, meat was a bit of a delicacy, and it was almost exclusively enjoyed by the rich. Exotic meats like peacock were even more of a rarity. The bird was typically served by cooks trying to impress wealthy guests. According to a collection of recipes and food facts from the First Century called Apicius, peacock was considered a first-ranked dish. That meant it outranked foods like rabbit, lobster, chicken, and pork in terms of its value as a luxury. Roman elites also enjoyed the peacock's eggs, which were also ranked highest among their counterparts. Don't eat too much. Save some womb for this. Sterile sow's womb may not sound super appetizing to most, but the ancient Romans really loved it. To keep their pigs from having piglets, Romans typically had the animals spayed. This would ideally keep the animal's womb pristine in both texture and taste. Apicius details numerous recipes featuring this delicacy, which is often accompanied by things like belly flesh and udders. There were numerous ways to prepare a sow's womb. One was to cook it in pepper, celery seed, dry mint, laser root, honey, vinegar, and broth. Alternatively, a Roman chef might grill the sow's womb after coating it in bran and then putting it into a brine. From all this talk, I kind of do have a hankering for womb now. I'll stop at the drive-thru later. One of the ancient Roman empire's most famous gourmands was Elagabalus, who was emperor during the Third Century from 218 to 222 CE. Contemporary writings about Elagabalus said that he loved hosting fancy dinner parties. Ancient gossip recorded in the Historia Augusta claims he was a gluttonous maximus who lived to serve people the greatest delicacies. The ancient book even states that he served his own palace attendants huge platters heaped up with heads of parrots, pheasants, and peacocks. Gosh, thanks, boss. I guess free lunch is a perk. The Roman affinity for exotic birds also extended to the flamingo. Both flamingo and parrot were prepared by boiling the meat in dill, salt, and vinegar, and later adding ingredients like leeks and coriander. Apicius reports the birds would then be infused with spices like pepper and cumin. Finally, the meat would be sweetened with dates and braised. Some recipes added additional flavors like mint, celery seeds, and shallots. When it came to parrots, Romans didn't just eat them. They also consider them conversation partners. Pliny the Elder wrote that the parrot was interesting due to its ability to imitate the human voice and actually converse. He noted that "a parrot will duly salute an emperor and pronounce the words it has heard spoken." He also observed that "the parrot is rendered especially frolicsome under the influence of wine." There's something they don't teach you in school. If you want to frolic with parrots, bring a good Chianti. Archaeologists digging at Pompeii uncovered the remains of a giraffe bone that was stuck in the drain of an ancient restaurant. Butchering marks found in the leg joint indicated that the animal was used for food. However, how it got to the restaurant in the first place remains a bit of a mystery. This is especially true given that it's the only giraffe bone ever to be recovered from an Italian excavation. And to think, if one plumber had just done their job, this would have never been discovered. Along with giraffes, the Romans apparently enjoyed camel at least as an occasional delicacy. An excavation of an ancient garbage dump in Rome yielded camel bones, which bore marks indicative of Elagabalus' strange predilection for eating the animal's heels. Why did he do that? Well, according to one biography, the emperor frequently ate camel heels because he was told that one who ate them was immune from the plague. Using camel parts as medicinal remedies wasn't uncommon. Writing in the 5th Century, the Roman physician Caelius Aurelianus criticized the use of camel's brain as a remedy for epilepsy, which was apparently common among his predecessors. Speaking of folk remedies for epilepsy, weasels weren't regularly served at Roman feasts, but they were believed to be handy to have around for medicinal reasons. Pliny the Elder took some time off from getting drunk with parrots to write that as a treatment for epilepsy, the brains of a weasel were considered very good. For use as a remedy, the brain was dried up and then taken in a drink. Other helpful parts of the weasel were its liver and uterus or testes, which would be dried up and then taken with coriander. Weasel flesh, when combined with salt, was supposedly helpful for healing people bitten by snakes. However, by the Fifth Century, Caelius Aurelianus challenged the idea that weasel bits were curative for epilepsy, exactly as he had done for camels' brains. He turned out to be right, much to the relief of camels and weasels everywhere. Brain was a common food. And if you go to the restaurant Animal in Los Angeles, it still is. Brain was frequently mentioned in Apicius with those of young sheep and cows especially featured throughout the ancient cookbook. One notable recipe includes lamb brains along with eggs, pepper, and, interestingly, rose petals. Brains were also commonly used to stuff sausages and other meat dishes. Apicius' recipe for Apician jelly includes either the sweetbreads of calf or lamb with a variety of other ingredients, including but not limited to honey, raisins, nuts, cheese, and mint. Once the ingredients were combined, they were to be covered and chilled, which in those days typically meant buried in the snow. The agent Romans didn't use ketchup, but they loved a good condiment. Their favorite was a tasty concoction known as garum or liquamen. Sold in large and small quantities alike, garum was prepared from the intestines of fish and various parts which would otherwise be thrown away, kind of like a Roman version of the McRib. The ingredients would be mixed with honey, vinegar, and other additives. Garum is even known to have come in kosher varieties. According to Pliny the Drunk Parrot Guy, garum was extremely expensive, not like the McRib. As he tells it, "A garum of mackerel from the fisheries of Carthage is the most highly prized. Hardly any other liquid commands such prices, apart from perfume." Given that garum was cost prohibitive, lower class Romans typically opted to substitute something called allec. Originally made from anchovies, allec was basically the remnants of a good garum or was made out of smaller, cheaper fish. [MUSIC PLAYING] Romans loved seafood. They ate all varieties of fish and weren't above dining on a good dolphin if the mood struck. Dolphin, although not a fish, was also a popular ingredient in salt fish balls, which were commonly served in wine sauce. The recipe typically called for a mixture of fish flesh with spices like parsley, pepper, and mint. Once the ingredients were blended and shaped into balls, they would be poached in wine, broth, and oil. For what it's worth, dolphin was prohibited for use as food by legislation. However, wealthy citizens found ways around those laws. For example, one Rutilius Rufus was said to avoid those laws by buying from fishermen who used to be his slaves. Oh, yeah. Let's give the old slave boss a deal. Jelly fish weren't common on Roman menus. But when they did turn up, it was almost always part of a salad. Sea urchin was slightly more common. In fact, the same Pompeii excavation that dug up that freak giraffe bone also found the remains of a sea urchin. Apicius advocated using sea urchins on top of a mega casserole that included ingredients from brains to cheese. They could be boiled or eaten raw. Popular varieties included sea urchin stuffed with egg and honey or simply dusted with pepper and salt. In modern times, we typically turn to cats as the animals that will clean up a mouse problem. But in ancient Rome, weasels were the animals that most households kept to keep rodents at bay. Door mice, however, which were much larger than traditional mice, were considered ingredients for culinary practice. Like dolphins, door mice were at least for a time protected by legislation. It didn't make much of a difference though. Romans continued to hunt these adorable and apparently tasty critters anyway. In fact, in order to make sure the supply of yummy, yummy door mice didn't run out, Romans took to raising them at home. Hand-raised door mice were fattened up and kept in jars stuffed with acorns, beach nuts, or chestnuts. Once the mice put on enough weight, Apicius recommended stuffing the chubby mice with pork pounded with pepper, nuts, silphium, and broth. Blood pudding was kind of the pasta with butter of its era. The ingredients were readily available, and the dish was considered very easy to cook. Sacrificed animals and those used in the arena were repositories of lifeblood, which was an important ingredient in such puddings as well as in blood sausage. Blood pudding and sausage could be purchased at the market, but the vendors who sold them were typically considered low on the social ladder, kind of like an ancient Roman Jackius in the Boxius. Apicius suggests mixing blood with egg yolks, nuts, and spices, then putting the resulting sauce into an intestine and cooking that mixture to perfection. Roman sausages, in contrast to black sausages associated with the British, used onion to absorb the liquid rather than oats or other grains. While the rich drank fancy wine, the poor would enjoy a more pedestrian drink. Without access to the best vino, many Romans drank posca, which was water mixed with vinegar and some variety of seasoning. Posca might include lemon juice, eggs, certain types of fruits, and sometimes wine. Easy to make, posca was known as the drink of Roman soldiers, which is a great marketing slogan. It was known to energize and refresh the consumer and even disinfected non-potable water. Less appealing than posca was lora, a wine typically consumed by slaves.