The long tradition of Roman culinary delicacies also includes a variety of fish recipes. At the time of the ancient Romans, the fish was initially consumed only in periods of famine, but was re-evaluated in a short time.
Fish in ancient Rome
In the republican and imperial times, among the most popular fish species there were the bream, sole, pike and goat-fish, often accompanied by boiled vegetables and meat.
Although there were important fishing centers in the area, such as Anzio, Civitavecchia and Fiumicino, the demand for fish products by the Roman nobles increased. That is why the Roman trade of fish has expanded to reach distant territories, such as the Rhine.
Obviously, dealers had to face with some issues, such as fish conservation till the destination. So special transport equipment were created, such as wagons with tanks for land transport, and boats equipped with water tank, for sea transport.
There were also private fish farms, and the animals were kept in swimming pools where the water was filtered and changed by a special aqueduct system. In these fish farms, it was common to find octopuses, lobsters, cuttlefish, prawns, oysters and various mollusks.
Fish in modern Rome
Today’s Roman cuisine is almost the same as the ancient times, with recipes handed down from generation to generation. The fish is always present and – it must be said – is the king of Christmas dinner.
Among the most popular fish in the kitchens, we can find cod, stew, fried or “alla romana”, cuttlefish, generally with peas, and anchovies, often cooked in casserole.