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Pompeii’s Caupona Restaurant. Eat like an ancient Roman

By Thursday, 24 November 2022 10:41

In Caupona Restaurant, just a few steps from the world-famous archaeological excavations in Pompeii, you can eat like an ancient Roman, and discover how their food was prepared and served.

There is a choice of menus and banquets, all using ancient ingredients and cooking methods you will find only here, and there are also 5 and 8-course tasting menus.  

The restaurant is like an ancient Roman domus

In the handsomely frescoed restaurant in the style of a Pompeian domus, discover foods as they were prepared and plated according to ancient traditions of over 2,000 years ago, based on the recipes of Apicius, a well-known gastronome of the Imperial age. Caupona was opened in 2016 and is, say its founders Francesco Di Martino and Nello Petrucci, is Italy’s first “archaeo-experiential” restaurant.  

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A choice of banquet and tasting menus

There is a choice of two banquet menus, one based on Apicius’ dishes and the other on typical Bay of Naples fare with the ancient flavours of antiquity, says host Francesco Di Martino. Guests are served by staff wearing period costume, and many diners enjoy donning the ancient Roman togas that are available.  A typical banquet starts with a selection of hors d'oeuvres of duck fillets and eggs or grilled quail, olive spreads and charred vegetables which are served with Mulsum, an aperitif made of white wine, honey, ginger, pepper, bay leaf and other spices. These are followed by hearty soups made with dark leafy greens, beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils and grains, lasagna or other pastas. 

Food is served in terracotta dishes and drinks in goblets 

The main course goes from a choice of chicken, pork and lamb, ossobuco to tuna or bream washed down with honeyed and spiced wine. The sumptuous food is served in terracotta dishes, and amphorae typical of the old cauponae (from the Latin word for inn or tavern) while the beverages come in goblets; it ends with desserts made with ricotta cheese and fresh and dried fruit.

The ancient Romans were mostly vegetarians

Actually the ancient Romans did not eat a lot of meat, and their diet was primarily vegetarian as well as based on dairy products, oil, honey and wine. We know that before fighting in the arena the gladiators were given spiced barley cakes sprinkled with honey and their energy drink was an infusion of fenugreek. After the fight they thanked the gods by eating crustula which were small wheat biscuits made with honey and butter and stuffed with sheep's milk ricotta.
Caupona is open every day for lunch and dinner and is very popular with groups.

For information:  www.caupona.it 


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