What did bread from ancient Pompeii taste like? Farrell Monaco knows. The experimental archaeologist replicates ancient technologies and specific ingredients, even growing her own starters, to bring to life the breads that ancient Pompeiians would have eaten. But recreating the bread goes beyond culinary curiosity—baking it is a way to understand how one simple food item can bring people together, a practice that resonates today, even as it did once in Pompeii.
About the author:
Farrell Monaco is an award-winning Classical archaeologist and food-writer whose research centers on food, food preparation, and bread in the Roman Mediterranean. She writes regularly on the role of food and food preparation in Roman daily life on her site, Tavola Mediterranea, and publishes in both English and Italian. Farrell has also written exclusively for Atlas Obscura and BBC Travel. Her work has been featured prominently by National Geographic, Popular Science, The Atlantic, the BBC, The Guardian, The Economist, Esquire Magazine, SAPIENS Magazine, Verve Magazine, Saveur Magazine and Milk Street. In November of 2020, Farrell co-produced, wrote and presented a video on the history of the date palm fruit with The Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA).