Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Foodies of Pompeii

It was 1,930 years ago this month that Mt. Vesuvius erupted in Italy, destroying the city of Pompeii. Roughly 20,000 people inhabited the city when the volcano erupted.

In their book, Life Is Meals, James and Kay Salter write that the residents of Pompeii devoted a lot of time and energy to good food:
. . . [Pompeii] was known for its fish sauces, its cabbage, and its luxurious villas. There were forty bakeries, many producing the traditional round loaves still made in the area.

Nearby were cultivated oyster beds and shellfish that produced the deep purple dye used for royal togas. There were elaborate wineries with machinery to press and strain grapes, and shops to sell what was made.

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