Temporary exhibition
Grajska ulica

The Exhibition in the scope of the project Debata o kuhinji – Kitchen debate

The Roman Kitchen

The Roman cuisine has influenced the cuisines of the entire Western world, as well as ours. It has a rich history because it had been developed over centuries. It adopted a vast amount of good and characteristic elements from the cuisine of the Greek and the Orient.

Every Roman house or apartment with a dining room had a space reserved for the kitchen. In poorer households, the hearth was also the kitchen. Large and comfortable apartments with a dining room and kitchen were predominantly located on the lower storeys of multi-storey buildings. The apartments without a kitchen were situated on higher storeys. In the last mentioned apartments, people cooked on small transportable hearths, which were also used for heating during the winter months. The inhabitants of Roman residential areas where there was no water nor kitchens, carried their half-ready food to the nearest taverns where it was then finished, while they supplied themselves with water from public wells.

In Roman villas, only a very modest space was reserved for the kitchen. Usually, it was placed in a small inner courtyard near the latrine, which, in most cases, was connected to the rainwater cistern. In grand houses with bathrooms or balneae, the kitchen was an independent space with a chimney that deflected the smoke and unpleasant scents.

The kitchens were small and dark spaces. The central part of a kitchen was the hearth, typically placed in a corner, rectangular and 110–130 cm high and 80 cm wide, with an opening for firewood. The kitchen was used solely for baking and cooking, while the dishes were prepared in the atrium or other spaces of the commercial wing where the pantry was also located.

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