Food plays a wide variety of roles in events of these kinds. At some events it may be the grand focus; others it may be merely on the table to give your hands something to do as you anxiously sit waiting for it all to end. We have all been there. I'd prefer to think that conquering peoples would throw a lavish feast for their newly acquired citizens; a celebration of the merging of their respective cultures, even if it wasn't consensual. Then again, this event would be far less exciting than a barrage of artillery, or the surprise decades later discovery of a forgotten, yet well placed, land mine. Probably why it is not in practice today.
Throughout my life I have met a variety of people over dinner. I've even negotiated business deals, evaluated employees, bargained for love, and thought up brand new business models while enjoying a light snack, or a well prepared portion of fish and chips. I've been responsible for introducing kindred spirits over meals, people who have been friends for years; others who were doomed to repeat mistakes made in their pasts. I've had the pleasure of being introduced to some special folks as well, some who are well loved, and some who are life inspiring. Food seems to be a constant through it all, a character actor who's abilities to adapt are impeccable and delicious.