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La Victoire de Samothrace, Unknown, 190 BC


1st c. AD

Pompeii had many many bakeries.

You can recognise them thanks to these peculiarly shaped lava stones.

Grains would be poured in the funnel at the top.

Wooden beams would be rotated by slaves, donkeys or employees to crush the grain underneath.

Lava stones were ideal as they were strong enough to not break up into the flour.

Bread was a key feature of Roman diets.

Romans would typically eat bread with cheese, honey, fruit, dried meat...

They could buy either it or make their own.

If so, they would make the dough, stamp it with their initials and bring it to cook in communal ovens.

Fun fact : during the excavations a bread oven was found, with 80 carbonised loaves in it!

Many Roman recipes have survived.

One reads : "break fine white bread into rather large pieces, soak in milk and beaten eggs. Fry in oil, cover with honey and serve"!

It is the recipe for pain perdu!

Pompeiian bread must have been pretty good.

Indeed a graffiti on a wall in Pompeii reads : "Traveler, you eat bread in Pompeii but you go to Nuceria to drink!"