Cheesy Claims About the Romans

Illustration of a cheese wheel.
Image via Wikipedia

Okay … this is a strange item of TV hype for a Food Network show which (the hype) is being picked up by all sorts of papers in southeast Asia right now … the incipit  from the Indian version of Yahoo:

Food writer Troy Johnson has revealed that cheese is not only one of the tastiest foods invented by man, but it was also one of the greatest weapons of war in the ancient world.

Johnson is the host of a new show called “Crave” debuting August 29 on the Food Network that explains the bizarre origins of some popular foods.

“The Romans invented the cheese wheel and used to roll them along with everything else when they were doing battle,” AOL News quoted Johnson, as telling HuffPost Weird News.

“They think this is why the Romans were able to kick everyone’s asses in Europe.

“Since cheese doesn’t spoil very easily, they always had a hunk of protein-and-fat-jammed energy source tucked up their man-skirts. Other armies’ food would spoil, leaving them weak and hungry. The cheese-eating Romans kicked their ass,” he revealed.

Yes, the Romans had cheese, but that they “invented” the cheese wheel, well, I’d need some evidence for that. And as for the claim that they rolled them around while on campaign, well, I’d definitely need some evidence for that. And that ‘the enemy’ wasn’t as well-prepared, food-wise? Definitely need evidence there too. Then again, I tend not to go to the Food Network for history shows (heck, I don’t even expect history on the History Channel or History Television anymore) … we’ll put this in the “Don’t eat that Elmer” category.

One thought on “Cheesy Claims About the Romans

  1. yeah, this made no sense to me either. Rolling cheese wheels? Uh, how would that be easier than carrying cheese? Anyone who’s tried to roll a tire realizes quickly that they are very difficult to steer. Also, how do you brake them on the downhills? And pushing them uphill? As far as the other armies food? Well, the Romans were typically invaders so, using Johnson’s faulty reasoning, it would imply that the home armies didn’t know how to keep food from rotting. If that were true then their civilizations would never have survived. Johnson needs a fact checker. He’s the James Frey of the food world.

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