The Kitchen of Senex Caecilius

It may be my kitchen, but it is most definitely the domain of Véronique, my cook from Aquae Sextiae. She has just returned from the bakery, so the bread will still be warm. I'm not sure what we are having for lunch. It may be cheese, fish, chickpeas, garlic, goat meat, olives, figs, onions, pistachios, fish sauce, and wine. Perhaps she still has some of those honey cakes that are flavored with aniseed left, too!

VéroniqueAlthough the kitchen is small, it is equipped with an oven and a griddle over the open fire on the elevated hearth. The culina is furnished with built-in shelves, a small hand mill for grinding grain, and several tables. The most recent purchase is a cupboard that stores the red Samian tableware (terra sigillata) and a variety of cooking and serving vessels. Véronique seems particularly proud of the new mortarium that I bought. (It's that large bowl with a flange for gripping and a spout for pouring. The interior surface is roughened with grit.) She claims she can't cook without one!

Be careful of the large jars and amphorae that are sitting about. They store wine, olive oil, and three different kinds of fish sauce: garum, liquamen, and muria. I have no idea what is in the sacks!

Some of the preceding information comes from Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome, written by Lesley Adkins and Roy A. Adkins and published in 1998 by Oxford University Press (New York).

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