To think of fast foods in ancient times seems slightly farfetched until we look more deeply into the options they had in preparing the food and the demand. Once these two factors are considered combined with some facts provided by researchers the concept of fast food in ancient times becomes much more feasible. Sundried fruits, meats, salted fish along with loaves of bread and wine certainly made it possible that fast food was very much the order of the day.
Despite our imagery of ancient Romans not everyone wined and dined in luxury like the elite did. Rome had ordinary people that needed to be fed. That is why historians believe and have proof that there were many fast food vendors in the cities back then. Rome was a city of people on the move with precious little time to spare so it stands to reason that there were people that had to feed the masses during their busy days.
During the excavation of Pompeii there are many secrets that have been unearthed. It was found that Pompeii held many places that were a cross between today’s Burger King, a British pub and a Spanish Tapa. Each of these rooms was open to the street and each place had long counters with a place in the center of the room where drinks and beverages could be served. This was not only in Pompeii but throughout the world. People were finding ways of preserving food to sell on the streets to those that could afford it.
Another reason for historians to believe that there were fast food places in ancient times is the way that people lived. They found that in a family apartment all walls would be intact so they were confined spaces. There was no evidence of stoves or cooking vessels found in these living spaces. There was no evidence that there was even a kitchen for cooking so we must assume that food was bought from vendors. There was no evidence of any type of dishes that would be used to eat off either, except for a few plates here and there that were found in places such as sleeping quarters but what they did find was vessels akin to barbeques which were fire boxes that were found throughout these rooms which were like those of the vendors where one wall would be left open to the street. This made the ideal selling point for ancient fast food.
Historians think that fast foods were very popular back then as well as being plentiful. They believe the people were privy to many choices of food and ate outside their homes more than they ate inside. To substantiate this reasoning, there were enough businesses in these cities that made good money to support the use of fast food. Artisans, shopkeepers, weavers and other trades persons that didn’t have time to prepare their own food and bought food from vendors. Fast food in ancient times seems to reflect on the type of residents the Roman and Pompeii citizens were, people that were on the move with very busy days.
It seems that fast food was as popular back then as what it is today but probably more necessary. It is almost certain it was healthier given the types of foods they ate. Pompeii was preserved so well that it tells its story very clear from all these years ago. Fast foods in ancient times was basically the same as it is today in the selling of food with the exception delivery and over the years the menu has been changed drastically.