There is no source of archaeological discovery on the ancient Roman empire quite like Pompeii. Preserved by the volcanic ash encapsulating the town in 79 AD, Vesuvius has preserved buildings, mosaics, and even bodies for archaeologists to determine what life was really like back in the wild days of early imperial Rome.
Despite this treasure trove, most literary resources were unfortunately left charred and destroyed from the volcano. What text that survived is impossible to unravel without destroying the contents and allowing the ink to fade. That was until modern technology allowed for these parchments and scrolls to be translated once again using light a billion times brighter than the sun. University of Kentucky’s Synchrotron Diamond light source, shoots electrons through any scroll of text over 360 degrees and reconstructs the ink of the text using Tomographic transformations just like a CT or MRI scan.
By using this MRI for ancient literature, some Pompeii scrolls were translated for the first time. After translating some Aeneid and Gilgamesh Fan fiction, the researchers were surprised to find a translated copy of ancient Rome’s legendary food critic Publius Scipio Cornelius Marcus Germanicus Maximus Sr. the III’s legendary article Hottest 12 Seafood Fusion Fast Casual Restaurants in Pompeii of 77 AD. This was a pleasant surprise for historians and archeologists who drown in boring manifests or Epictetus derivative early works of stoic philosophers.
With the results of the scans coming out late last Wednesday, the meanings of the scrolls are hotly debated among Pompeii experts. Previous research long accepted and taught by the academic community has suggested that the best fast casual seafood fusion restaurants at the time of the eruption in Pompeii was either Mater Cornelia’s Lunch Buffet or Brutus’ Octopus’s Garden depending on your academic school of thought. As Pompeii was famed for its production of the fish sauce Garum, this is a hotly debated topic among most historians.
“The belief that these two fast casual restaurants were the top of the line Seafood fusion locations in Pompeii has been backed by decades of research and scientific discovery within the archeological dig sites,” Pompeii excavation expert Daniel McElroy explained. “It has been well established in the early 1960s by crustacean specific carbon dating which locations served seafood fusion in the city and by the lunch buffet architecture, which ones were fast casual for busy Romans on the go who didn’t want to stomach street food. This was the market place for ideas, politics and reasonably priced crab. Societal status was determined by which fast casual seafood restaurants Romans frequented. Through molecular decomposition, top archaeologists have been able to determine which locations had the best Garum and the most fresh sea food to determine which were the hottest.”
The controversial, yet popular, metric used by the top Archeological Pompeii culinary experts has been the number of petrified bodies clutching their stomachs. If the food was bad, the customers would have clutched their stomachs from pain in the final moments before being covered and petrified by the ashes of Mt. Vesuvius. Using this methodology, Mater Cornelia and Brutus ran the most successful seafood fusion restaurants with only two captured stomach aches for Cornelia and three for Brutus. Because of the amount of customers inside of each location, the difference in numbers is argued to be statistically insignificant in which Brutus’ reconstructed shellfish and tuna special is said to be objectively tastier than Mater Cornelia’s signature sea bass surprise.
Publius Maximus Sr. II’s widely circulated literature on the best culinary experience of Pompeii of AD 74 discovered in a Library in Neapolis to the West appeared to have backed up this metric which is the basis for the historical models used to this day.
Unfortunately for the traditionalists, the controversial stomach metric appears to now be flipped on its head according to the new translation of the Hottest 12 Seafood Fusion Fast Casual Restaurants in Pompeii of 77 AD with the power of the cutting edge technology. Correlating the top picks of Publius Maximus’ to the number of depicted stomach aches, the best locations with the best sauce, spices, seafood and most importantly atmosphere appear to be the ones with the most bodies writhing in pain on the ground like they ate some six dollar gas station sushi.
“The new theory circulating throughout the community is that the citizens of Pompeii loved these locations so much that they stuffed their faces with food while awaiting their impending doom,” Daniel McElroy proposed. “They were all apparently gluttons and stuffed their faces with their favorite dishes as soon as they knew they couldn’t outrun the ash and it was the end. It was a stomach ache of passion and pleasure.”
While Mater Cornelia and Brutus may have had the best traditional recipes, newer locations opened up allowing customers to mix and mash their favorite proteins, sauces, breads, and vegetables into a custom bowl like an ancient Chipotle. These quickly overtook the traditionally famous restaurants of Pompeii by storm in only two years. No one thought such a thing would even be possible while maintaining a high quality of ingredients, but it was.
Nearly all of the best restaurants of AD77 adopted this model. According to Publius’ recently translated list, the best was the family operated underground location called Capere Maris [Catch of the Sea]. This location, according to Publius’ description, had the “…best atmosphere, raw ingredients, and bang for your buck deals than any other. It is no wonder it always had a twenty minute line circling the block.” Capere Maris was apparently the only location which didn’t charge extra if you chose a dormice as one of your proteins making it popular with the diners on a budget who still wanted to treat themselves.
This is only the beginning of the debate as there are still two years in between the publishing of this text and the eruption. While most experts still say there needs to be more evidence before Capere Maris can be widely accepted as the best fast casual seafood fusion restaurant of Pompeii at the time of the Vesuvius eruption, it is clear that all of the old models are wrong. This corner stone of ancient Roman Archaeology has fundamentally changed leaving many to question what we actually know about their historic culture.
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