The Most Extravagant Dinner Parties in History

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Try the Flamingo Tongue -- It's to Die For!

FlamingoAppalled by today's overly-creative, made-to-shock menus? You've got Ancient Roman Marcus Gavius Apicius to thank for that trend.

Apicius was the original adventurous gourmet, serving up such dishes as flamingo tongue, camel heel and force-fed pig liver at his decadent dinners. And this is not one of those back-then-they-ate-gross-stuff things -- those dishes were considered pretty outlandish even in those days.

At the peak of his "creativity," in 20 A.D., Marcus gave several dinner parties that cost upwards of fifteen million dollars a pop. Once he took a look at the bill, though, he realized he couldn't sustain the sort of epicurean lifestyle he'd become accustomed to. Rather than belt-tighten, he opted for suicide. He had about two hundred million in the bank at the time, but you know how hard it can be to live on less than a billion.

Lucky for us, Apicius is also the author of the oldest recovered cookbook. You can find it at if you've got a spare flamingo or two lying around.

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