Starting Thursday, visitors to Pompeii will have a unique opportunity to dine at the site of the fabled city’s busiest restaurant before its sudden demise in 79 AD following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. In a project scheduled to run for a month, the specialties of ancient Pompeii will be revived in an effort to understand more about how its inhabitants lived. Would a Roman’s food pyramid pass muster with the USDA? Probably. Its heavy reliance on figs, olives, plums, grapes, cereals and beans would seem a model of restraint. (It’s harder, however, to know what they would make of Pompeiians’ taste for swallow’s tongue and parrot meat.)
Given that Vesuvius has a history of erupting suddenly and with little warning, visitors might be well advised to get that meal to go.