BERKELEY'S NEWS • SEPTEMBER 26, 2022

Quiz: Can you make it big as a baker in ancient Rome?

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ALLISON FONG | FILE

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MARCH 28, 2021

Congrats, citizen of Rome! The year is 300 A.D., and you have just opened a bakery near the Aventine Hill, a mere half-mile from the House of Augustus. Little do you know, the choices you make now may or may not end up being discussed for years to come by students in art history classes at universities throughout the world — not to mention in Berkeley, California. Can you garner enough renown to end up in an art history textbook hundreds of years in the future, or will you ultimately end up lost in the sands of time?

[listquiz]

  1. Your bakery needs a trademark product. Which of the following grain-based foods are you best at making?
    1. Cap’n Crunch.
    2. Donuts.
    3. Instant noodles.
    4. Cheetos.
  2. Good choice! Unfortunately, no one in ancient Rome knows what that is. Bending to the will of the masses, you leave your strange future food in your imagination. What will you do now? Not that you have a choice, but it’s polite to ask.
    1. Make bread.
    2. Make bread.
    3. Make bread.
    4. Make bread.
  3. Woah! It’s 312 A.D. now, and Constantine just defeated Maxentius for complete control over the Western Roman Empire. What’s your next move?
    1. Start a special “Under New Management” sale, during which all your bread will be printed with the image of Constantine.
    2. Reopen your bakery as a Constantine merchandise store.
    3. Push through the chaos and open a second branch closer to the center of the city.
    4. Eh. Continue making bread as usual.
  4. Constantine has been making some pretty big changes to the urban fabric of Rome. Not only that, all the physical changes are occuring within the context of a religious shift toward Christianity from the old, pagan gods. For this quiz, though, we’re going to take it easy and just ask you what your favorite kind of bread is.
    1. Sourdough.
    2. Rye.
    3. Whole-grain.
    4. White.
  5. The city’s changed, and so have you. You’re a little older now, old enough that a new basilica is just another new basilica. But even though you’ve developed a comfortable routine when it comes to baking, you can’t stop thinking about those weird future foods. You decide to take a shot at something new. What do you choose?
    1. Lucky Charms.
    2. Twinkies.
    3. Instant rice.
    4. Funyuns.
  6. It’s been many years, and things have pretty much settled down. You’re now a fairly big name in the baking business. You’ve done monstrous things to eliminate your competition, and not a single piece of bread is eaten in the southwestern sector of the city without you knowing exactly when and where it happened. It’s about time to hang up the chef’s hat and retire. What will you do for the rest of your life?
    1. Move closer to the Mediterranean and pick up fishing.
    2. Convert to Christianity and move into a monastery.
    3. Use your mountains of gold to work your way into politics.
    4. Bake more bread.
    1. You are the greatest baker who has ever lived. Your bread empire stretches across the European continent. That art history textbook doesn’t even seem to matter anymore. You are bread incarnate. You will live forever.
    2. Unfortunately, you couldn’t quite make your way into an art history textbook. However, you do end up having a sandwich named after you in a small deli chain on the American East Coast.
    3. Well, this is strange. Your weird future food has made small waves through the eons, slightly affecting culinary tastes over generations, culminating in the invention of Pringles in the 1960s.
    4. So close! Instead of ending up in an art history textbook, you’ve found yourself vaguely alluded to in a historical fiction novel about a painter. Oh well, maybe you’ll do better next time.

[/listquiz]

Contact Allen Chen at 

LAST UPDATED

MARCH 28, 2021


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