Dipped in Olive Oil

Oct 2014
151
California, USA
#1
So, I love dipping bread in olive oil with a little herbs. It was something I discovered at an Italian restaurant here in the US, and was surprized to learn that they DON'T do that in Italy (and are usually very annoyed when you expect it). I gather they don't usually serve bread before a meal either. (Though they do sometimes coat bread in olive oil and herbs).

But, I have read that ancient people in Rome did sometimes dip their bread in olive oil. I am trying to find out if they did that in ancient Greece too. I know they had olive oil, and bread and various herbs that would go nicely in it. I know they dipped their bread in wine. I've found some sites saying they did but they are sort of...well, sites that might get it wrong (blogs and such that might not do very good historical research). I'm wondering what other places had this practice of dipping olive oil in bread in ancient times (or even later...like up through the 1600s). I'm involved in living history projects for kids, and mixing olive oil with spices that various places has is a fun activity, but I don't want to be passing on bad information.
 
Oct 2013
6,330
Planet Nine, Oregon
#2
In ancient Greece they dipped themselves into olive oil! Then used strigils to scrape their bodies clean. I'll bet bread was dipped too; certainly they had bread with olives on it or olive bread.
 
Likes: Futurist

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,556
Australia
#5
In ancient Greece they dipped themselves into olive oil! Then used strigils to scrape their bodies clean. I'll bet bread was dipped too; certainly they had bread with olives on it or olive bread.
Greeks and Romans would have considered it pretty barbaric to dip food in it. To them, olive oil was an industrial product and not food. What would you think about someone who ate soap and covered their food in lamp oil?
 
Likes: Futurist
Oct 2013
6,330
Planet Nine, Oregon
#9
Apparently hey mashed herbs in it and used it as a condiment for bread, and ate dried olivrs, too:
Meals and Recipes from Ancient Greece"olive+oil"+"bread"&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwja9aSDkNHiAhUDOn0KHZYxALEQ6AEILzAC#v=onepage&q=ancient%20greek%20"olive%20oil"%20"bread"&f=false
but it certainly is difficult to imagine them dipping bread into plain olive oil in little bowls as us the custom in some restaurants today.
 

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