🍕 No Slice of Heaven: Ancient Pompeii Wall Art Gives False Crust Hopes 🎨
TL;DR: They say, art imitates life. But sometimes, it just imitates pizza! 🤷♂️ A recently discovered fresco in the archaeological site of Pompeii appeared to feature a flatbread topped with colourful delights, akin to our modern pizza. But experts have popped the cheese bubble – it ain’t pizza, folks! The key ingredients for the heavenly dish – tomatoes and mozzarella – didn’t exist in Europe 2000 years ago when this fresco was painted. Plot twist: the artwork most likely shows a focaccia topped with fruit, like pomegranates and possibly dates, along with spices or some type of pesto. Who knew, the Romans were into ‘sweet pies’ too? 🤯
The intriguing fresco was discovered in the atrium of a house, known as Insula 10 of Regio IX, that’s currently under excavation. The site, where a bakery was attached, had been explored partially back between 1888 and 1891, and the excavation works picked up again this January. The image on the fresco, depicting food served on a silver plate with a wine chalice next to it, seems to reflect the irony of life – a simple meal served in an opulent setting, much like pizza’s journey from a humble street food to a global culinary phenomenon.
Alright, let’s dive deep into the saucy details!
Apparently, tomatoes didn’t make their way to Europe until a few centuries ago, all the way from the Americas. Mozzarella’s discovery, on the other hand, played a key role in the invention of pizza in Naples, somewhere in the 1700s. 💡 Now, imagine this – a world without pizza? Sends chills down the spine, doesn’t it? 😱
Art, being the crafty mimic it is, had us all fooled. From a distance, the flatbread with the colourful toppings on the fresco sure did look like a good old pizza. But upon closer inspection, the heartbreak was inevitable. The supposed ‘toppings’ were nothing but fruit, possibly pomegranates and dates, finished with some kind of spice or pesto. Imagine biting into a pizza slice, expecting a cheesy paradise, but instead getting a fruity surprise! 😂
The flatbread, which experts believe to be focaccia, was depicted to be served on a shiny silver plate. Right beside it, a chalice brimming with wine, adding a luxurious edge to the frugal meal. A reminder of pizza’s own origin, maybe? After all, pizza did start as a poor man’s dish in Southern Italy and has now won over the world, making its way into Michelin-starred restaurants.
Here’s where it gets thought-provoking, folks! 🧠 The contrast between the simple meal and its lavish presentation paints a picture (pun intended!) of societal dynamics. Does it remind you of the countless Instagram pictures where a simple dish is served on an expensive-looking plate, creating an illusion of luxury? 🤔
So, what do you think? Is history repeating itself with our obsession to make even the simplest meals look luxurious? And, more importantly, would you dare to try a fruity flatbread instead of your classic pepperoni pizza? 🤔 Let’s get the dough rolling on this discussion, shall we?