Did the Residents of Pompeii Eat Pizza?

Conventional wisdom tells us that pizza was invented in Naples, Italy, in the 17th century. It was a simple street dish of flatbread, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. And sure, that’s pretty much what it is today, except it now comes delivered in a cardboard box, often with extra toppings. But archaeologists working in the ancient Italian city of Pompeii that was buried in ash fron the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD have uncovered a fresco that depicts a dish that looks suspiciously like pizza. Did the doomed city have their own version of pizza 2,000 years ago? Or is the Italian Culture Ministry, who released the image, looking for more funding?

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That would depend on how you define “pizza.” The dish depicted in Pompeii was certainly “other food served on flatbread,” but there was no mozzarella cheese in that era, and tomatoes weren’t available until they were imported from the Americas. What the Pompeii fresco shows is more likely fruit served on flatbread (focaccia), possibly pomegranate and dates, sprinkled with spices or pesto. -via Metafilter

One Mefite suspects it may even have been a pineapple pizza, which another Mefite declared was grounds for destroying the city by volcanic eruption.

(Image credit: Italian Culture Ministry)

Source: neatorama

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