The people of ancient Rome may have lived thousands of years ago, but their diets were anything but old-fashioned. In fact, they chowed down on many foods we would shudder to even consider consuming today. The rich and famous, ranging from studs like Caesar and Antony to leading ladies like Livia, loved nothing more than sampling the oddest dishes our modern brains can imagine.
Even ancient writers loved to parody the weird things Romans ate. In his Satyricon, comic writer Petronius joked about the insanely lavish meal hosted by the freedman Trimalchio. So gauche it was gross, Trimalchio’s feast shows Roman foodies - and the nouveau riche - at their worst.
So what did ancient Romans eat? Gourmands like the gluttonous Emperor Elagabalus might have served up parrot heads or dolphin meatballs; guests might have seasoned their dishes, no matter how fancy, with garum, a sauce made out of fermented fish guts. Romans consumed the flesh of animals that came straight outta the arena, turned sacrificial blood into pudding and stuffed sausages, and cooked pests, making them into both yummy treats and remedies for serious medical conditions.
Vote up the weird foods from ancient Roman cuisine you wouldn't dare eat.