Three hundred specially invited guests are to taste the delights of Roman fast food in the thermopolium (that’s snack bar to you and me) in a special ceremony to mark the reopening of the joint, which has been closed to the general public for many years. Now after a long period of excavation and preservation, visitors will be able to once more taste the house specialty – baked cheese with lashings of honey.
The snack bar will re-open at an unveiling ceremony on 21 March 2010 and will re-open to the general public several weeks later. The thermopolia were a standard feature of life in Pompeii – and indeed around the Roman Empire. There were over one hundred and twenty in the town, before it was enveloped by about sixty feet of pumice and ash and were remarkably similar to our own fast food joints of today. With one exception – most of the food was delicious and healthy. With the exception of the sweet deserts most of the food sold here would have been downright good for you – something that our modern day chains could learn from perhaps?
The thermopolia were so popular, in fact, that many of the houses in Pompeii lacked one room that we take for granted – a kitchen. The food was so cheap and available that it is thought that most Pompeians simply didn’t bother including a kitchen in their homes. Plus there is the fact that eating out was one of the most important social activities in Pompeii.
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