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Stuffed Dormice A Roman Favourite
BBC ^ | 7-21-2003

Posted on 07/21/2003 4:18:11 PM PDT by blam

Stuffed dormice a Roman favourite

The remnants of a Roman hare stew

Archaeologists in Northamptonshire are unearthing the recipe secrets of the Romans. Excavations in the county have shown the dish of the day 2,000 years ago was freshly-grilled hare and stuffed dormice.

The excavations are at Whitehall Villa, Nether Heyford, just yards from the Grand Union Canal, are revealing the secrets of Northamptonshire's Roman Heritage, including their unusual diet.

Archaeologist Martin Weaver said a burned bowl found at the site contained the remnants of hare stew.

"They also ate dormice - stuffed - and oysters. They loved their oysters," he said.

The villa sits on land now owned and farmed by Nick Adams who is discovering he has more in common with his ancestors than he realised.

"I had no real interest in archaeology or Roman things before this came along but, because it's on my land, I get a real kick.

More than 60 students from across the world are taking part in the dig

"The Romans were actually living and working here as I am doing now. They raised sheep and farmed crops as I am doing today," he said.

More than 60 students from across the world are taking part in the dig and some of the finds are believed to date back to the Iron Age.

Stephen Young, of University College, Northampton, said the level, variety and richness of the finds was very revealing.

"It is really starting to highlight the interaction of the people who were living here and gives a real insight into what they were doing here and how long they were here."

The Whitehall Villa and all the finds can be viewed by the public this weekend.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: agriculture; ancienthistory; animalhusbandry; archaeology; dietandcuisine; dirmice; favourite; godsgravesglyphs; history; netherheyford; northamptonshire; roman; romanempire; stuffed; whitehallvilla
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1 posted on 07/21/2003 4:18:11 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Excavations in the county have shown the dish of the day 2,000 years ago was freshly-grilled hare and stuffed dormice.

The first "bubble and squeak" in ancient Britain?

2 posted on 07/21/2003 4:23:25 PM PDT by strela ("Each of us can find a maggot in our past which will happily devour our futures." Horatio Hornblower)
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To: blam
The Romans used a salty fish sauce called liquemen. They used it on everything.

They also were great combiners of ingredients, considering it a great compliment if you couldn't tell what you were eating.
3 posted on 07/21/2003 4:24:53 PM PDT by I still care
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To: blam

For some reason all I could think of is the scene in Scrooged where Lumpy tells the stage hand to staple antlers on the dormouse.
4 posted on 07/21/2003 4:27:00 PM PDT by ModernDayCato
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To: blam
They didn't eat tomatoes, potatoes, squash, corn, chocolate nor did they eat chocolate.

What else didn't they eat?

5 posted on 07/21/2003 4:30:28 PM PDT by Aliska
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To: blam

Yummy!
6 posted on 07/21/2003 4:30:35 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: Aliska
nor did they eat chocolate.

Make that drink coffee.

7 posted on 07/21/2003 4:32:04 PM PDT by Aliska
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To: LibWhacker
It's too cute to eat. Wonder what they stuffed them with.
8 posted on 07/21/2003 4:33:16 PM PDT by Aliska
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To: blam
In Rome they ate peacocks' tongues. I don't know if they could afford them in Londinium.
9 posted on 07/21/2003 4:35:57 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: blam
Let's remember that Rome existed in a world that had not yet discovered the Americas. Lots of the foods that we know and love today were found in America and were unknown in Europe before 1492. Basic foods like tomatoes, potatoes, beans, corn, chili peppers, chocolate, squash, peanuts, and vanilla -- and many others. Imagine Italian cooking without the tomato! They ate a lot of game meat, bread, cabbages, carrots, and onions.
10 posted on 07/21/2003 4:36:18 PM PDT by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: I still care
Bet I could fool 'em with Grandma's stir-fried river rat. They'd probably think it was dormice, BWAhahahahahaha!
11 posted on 07/21/2003 4:36:55 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: blam
Excavations in the county have shown the dish of the day 2,000 years ago was freshly-grilled hare and stuffed dormice.

WE'RE GONNA HAVE ROAST RABBIT! Elmer Fudd....

12 posted on 07/21/2003 4:37:40 PM PDT by TheSpottedOwl (You bring tar, I'll bring feathers....recall Davis in 03!!!)
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To: Aliska
Dunno, glad they didn't say; I just ate lunch. :-P
13 posted on 07/21/2003 4:37:47 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: Aliska
Wonder what they stuffed them with.

Had to be hummingbirds, the mice are so small!

14 posted on 07/21/2003 4:39:51 PM PDT by apackof2 (Listen much, talk little, learn greatly)
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To: Cicero
Ocelot spleens! Jaguar earlobes! Wolf nipple chips, get them while they're hot, they're lovely!
15 posted on 07/21/2003 4:40:11 PM PDT by DryFly
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To: DryFly
Ocelot spleens! Jaguar earlobes! Wolf nipple chips, get them while they're hot, they're lovely!

Oh go away. You're ruining my rat-on-a-stick sales.

16 posted on 07/21/2003 4:44:29 PM PDT by Cachelot (~ In waters near you ~)
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To: blam
A lot of people probably have a distaste for eating rats or mice. But I imagine if they were farmed, they could be quite tasty. When I was young, lived on a farm, plagued by pigeons. Outside there was a round wire corn silo we'd put full ears of corn in. The pigeons were on that silo, day in and day out. I popped four of em one day with my .22, cleaned em, mom cooked them, they were incredible! Not much wing, but breasts like a turkey. Fine delicacy in some parts of the world.
17 posted on 07/21/2003 4:45:51 PM PDT by djf
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To: LibWhacker
Now, I don't mean to brag...but I make a mean weed-rat stew.
18 posted on 07/21/2003 4:47:37 PM PDT by New Horizon
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To: TheSpottedOwl
Isn't that"....WOAST WABBIT!!!"
19 posted on 07/21/2003 4:52:02 PM PDT by cavtrooper21 (When in doubt, give em' both barrels.... then git in there quick with yer Bowie!)
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To: Cuttnhorse
¿Con cola o sin cola?

ping
20 posted on 07/21/2003 4:52:10 PM PDT by null and void
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