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Fragment of antique non-stick pan has been discovered in Italy

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Fragment of antique non-stick pan has been discovered in Italy
Fragment of antique non-stick pan has been discovered in Italy | Photo: MARCO GIGLIO

Italian archaeologists have discovered a fragment of a non-stick Roman pan in the vicinity of Naples, which proves that in antiquity, comfort in the kitchen was taken care of.

The south of Italy was famous for the production of such products, which were called Cumanae testa or Cumanae patellae (pans from the city of Cumae). They are also mentioned in the 1st-century Roman cookbook “De Re Coquinaria”, recommending that they be used in the preparation of chicken stews.

Until 1975 the Cumae pans remained a mystery. It was then that the Italian archaeologist and historian Giuseppe Pucci proposed that the clay pots with a red non-slip coating – known in the scientific community as “Pompeian Red Ware” – should be considered as Cumanae testae. Now other specialists: Marco Giglio, Giovanni Borriello and Stefano Iavarone found evidence to support Pucci’s thesis. Scientists found a hole filled with fragments of cooking utensils (about 50,000 fragments of lids, pots, and pans – of various sizes and thicknesses), which date back to the reign of Octavian Augustus and Tiberius (27 BCE – 37 CE). This place was a dumpster of broken dishes for a pottery factory; this, in turn, proves that non-stick pans were manufactured at Cumae. Many of the fragments have a thick red coating on the inside to prevent food from sticking. In this way, it was possible to prepare a meat stew perfectly.

Preliminary analysis shows that the clay from which the vessels were made in Cumae is different from that used in Pompeii. The study also proves that the Cumae pans were of much higher quality than the so-called. Pompeian Red Ware.

Mass production of high-quality pots and pans promoted Cumae to the entire world at that time. Kitchen utensils were exported to Spain, North Africa, Gaul, Germany and Great Britain.


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