All Hail the Mediterranean Diet!

I’m always on a diet: the Mediterranean Diet, which seems to keep me in good condition both mentally and physically.  How simple it and healthful it is: a bit of  meat and poultry, more fish,  a few tasty grains, and plenty of vegetables and fruit.

Like this, spilling gloriously from a glass bowl  in Pompeii around 70AD. Though the fresco has faded, the fruit still looks so ripe, so bite-into-able, I feel like I could reach out and pluck a piece for myself . What’s seducing my palate? Maybe it’s the pomegranate off to the side, split in half to reveal its  hidden treasure of glistening red kernels; the golden quinces so crowded together they’re just begging to be let out; the cluster of grapes I just know are sweet and juicy on the inside with skin just crisp enough to go–pop!–between the teeth.  All, grown without the use of chemical pesticides, artificially induced mutation, or overly processed fertilizer. And all ripened naturally on tree, shrub, or vine.

The ancient Romans were big on fruit. Depending where your domicile was located in the empire–which, were it still around, would now take a full seven hours to cross in a commercial jet (your “meal aloft”: stale peanuts and plastic cheese!)–you could enjoy dates, figs, grapes, apples, pomegranates, peaches, cherries, pears, plums, currants,  berries, melons, quinces, and azaroles, the fruit of the Mediterranean medlar.

I’m repainting my kitchen next week. Wonder if there’s space on the wall for a copy of this fresco? It could go right under the big glass bowl of fruit that’s always there!

“Vale!” as the Romans would say–Be sound, vigorous, and healthy!






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