Grab Some Grub, Pompeii Style


Plan a Pompeii party with your friends and family. Prop up those elbows and eat with your hands. No forks or knives allowed; just fingers!

Pompeiian people loved chicken, pork, eggs, dried fruits and veggies, cheese, and plenty of fish. Dinner was the most important meal of the day for Roman families, with three courses (including a delicious dessert).

Ancient Roman Libum Recipe (Pompeii cheesecake)

Libum was a sacrificial cake sometimes offered to household spirits during Rome’s early history. Libum, sometimes served hot, is a cheesecake.

This is how the Pompeiians prepared the Libum over 1,900 years ago:
Two pounds cheese well crushed in a mortar; when well-crushed, add one pound bread-wheat flour or, if you want a lighter recipe, just 1/2 a pound, to be mixed with the cheese. Add one egg and mix together well. Make a loaf of this, with leaves under it, and cook slowly in a hot fire under a brick.

From Cato’s On Agriculture, reprinted in The Classical Cookbook

Modern Roman Libum Recipe (serves 4)

1 cup plain, all purpose flour
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
bay leaves
1/2 cup clear honey

Sift the flour into a bowl. Beat the cheese until it’s soft and stir it into the flour along with the egg. Form a soft dough and divide into four. Mold each one into a bun and place them on a greased baking tray with a fresh bay leaf underneath. Heat the oven to 425° F. Cover the cakes and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Place cakes over warm honey. Allow to stand 30 minutes before serving.