An Ancient Speedy Food Cafe in Pompeii That Served Honey-Roasted Rodents Is Now Open up to the Public

Kandace Wysock

Archaeologists finding out the Roman city of Pompeii a short while ago identified a thermopolium—a kind of historical fast foods restaurant—and it is now open to the general public. Website visitors will not be able to try out the Roman delicacies that would have been served at the original restaurant—since this […]

Archaeologists finding out the Roman city of Pompeii a short while ago identified a thermopolium—a kind of historical fast foods restaurant—and it is now open to the general public.

Website visitors will not be able to try out the Roman delicacies that would have been served at the original restaurant—since this is a culture that thought honey-roasted rodents lifted in jars have been a delicacy—but they will be equipped to see the establishment’s colourful fresco paintings.

Just one artwork seemingly options ingredients that would have been prepared at the thermopolium, these as a rooster, while a different reveals a scene from mythology, with a Nereid using a sea-horse. A third depicts a collared puppy and Roman-period graffiti that about interprets to “Nicias Shameless Shitter,” presumably an insult to the owner, Nicias.

thermopolium with Roman-era graffiti that reads "NICIA CINAEDE CACATOR," translating to "NICIAS SHAMELESS SHITTER," presumably an insult to the owner. Photo courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii. " width="940" height="1024" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/08/image_9193_5e-Pompeii-Thermopolium-940x1024.jpeg 940w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/08/image_9193_5e-Pompeii-Thermopolium-275x300.jpeg 275w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/08/image_9193_5e-Pompeii-Thermopolium-46x50.jpeg 46w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2021/08/image_9193_5e-Pompeii-Thermopolium.jpeg 1500w" sizes="(max-width: 940px) 100vw, 940px"/>

A fresco of a collared puppy at the thermopolium with Roman-period graffiti. Photo courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii.

The discovery, in 2019, “led to a better knowledge of the diet program and day-to-day existence of Pompeians,” Massimo Osanna, the previous head of the Pompeii archaeological park and now director common of Italy’s museums, said in a statement.

Industry experts consider prepared food would have been displayed in large dolia jars set in holes carved in the stone counter, related to today’s consider-out dining places.

The excavations uncovered duck, pig, goat, and fish bones, as nicely as snail shells amid shards of earthen pottery, suggesting that some variety of meat and seafood stew may well have been on the menu. Common dishes served at a thermopolium would have involved salty fish, baked cheese, lentils, and spicy wine, according to the Guardian. (1 jar evidently even now smelled strongly of wine when archaeologists to start with found out it.)

The eating society and culinary traditions of Pompeii are at this time the matter of “Final Supper in Pompeii,” an exhibition at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor museum. The city’s unexpected destruction with the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the calendar year 79 A.D. quickly carbonized food and cookware, leaving a document of working day-to-working day life frozen in time.

The thermopolium was a fixture of Pompeii—the freshly learned internet site is just one particular of 80 these dining establishments that have been located in the city—because lousy Roman people couldn’t find the money for to have kitchens in their residences. And, in an inversion of modern day culture, the rich didn’t go out for high-priced meals. Rather, they experienced enslaved employees put together feasts at home, served up in richly decorated banquet halls.

The thermopolium, or fast food restaurant, of Regio V in Pompeii. Photo courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii

The thermopolium, or quick meals cafe, of Regio V in Pompeii. Photograph courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii

Archaeologists uncovered the thermopolium during excavations at Regio V, a area of Pompeii that is not nonetheless absolutely open up to the general public and has been dwelling to most of the lively digging on the web-site considering that the 1960s. In addition to the restaurant, sections of the Casa di Orione and Casa del Giardino mansions are also opening to visitors this week.

Other new Regio V finds involve a skeleton of a person considered to have been killed fleeing the volcano and a assortment of amulets that could have belonged to a woman sorcerer. Human bones uncovered at the new thermopolium advise the business’s proprietor might have died on the premises.

See far more photographs from the thermopolium below.

The thermopolium, or fast food restaurant, of Regio V in Pompeii. Photo courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii

The thermopolium, or rapid food stuff cafe, of Regio V in Pompeii. Photograph courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii.

The <em>thermopolium</em>, or fast food restaurant, of Regio V in Pompeii. Photo courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii

The thermopolium, or rapid foods restaurant, of Regio V in Pompeii. Photo courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii.

The thermopolium, or fast food restaurant, of Regio V in Pompeii. Photo courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii

The thermopolium, or rapid food stuff restaurant, of Regio V in Pompeii. Photo by Luigi Spina, courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii.

The thermopolium, or fast food restaurant, of Regio V in Pompeii. Photo courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii

The thermopolium, or speedy food stuff cafe, of Regio V in Pompeii. Picture courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii.

The thermopolium, or fast food restaurant, of Regio V in Pompeii. Photo courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii

The thermopolium, or quickly food items restaurant, of Regio V in Pompeii. Picture courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii.

The <em>thermopolium</em>, or fast food restaurant, of Regio V in Pompeii. Photo by Luigi Spina, courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii.

The thermopolium, or fast food stuff cafe, of Regio V in Pompeii. Picture by Luigi Spina, courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii.

The thermopolium, or fast food restaurant, of Regio V in Pompeii. Photo courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii

The thermopolium, or speedy food items restaurant, of Regio V in Pompeii. Photo courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii.

The thermopolium, or fast food restaurant, of Regio V in Pompeii. Photo courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii

The thermopolium, or quick foods cafe, of Regio V in Pompeii. Picture courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii.

The thermopolium, or fast food restaurant, of Regio V in Pompeii. Photo courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii

The thermopolium, or speedy foods restaurant, of Regio V in Pompeii. Photo courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii.

The <em>thermopolium</em>, or fast food restaurant, of Regio V in Pompeii. Photo by Luigi Spina, courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii

The thermopolium, or rapidly foodstuff restaurant, of Regio V in Pompeii. Photo by Luigi Spina, courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii.

The <em>thermopolium</em>, or fast food restaurant, of Regio V in Pompeii. Photo courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii.

The thermopolium, or speedy food cafe, of Regio V in Pompeii. Photo courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii.

The <em>thermopolium</em>, or fast food restaurant, of Regio V in Pompeii. Photo courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii.

The thermopolium, or rapidly foodstuff cafe, of Regio V in Pompeii. Image courtesy of Archaeological Park of Pompeii.

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