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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

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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To: New Horizon
Lotta possums here. Just about the dumbest things God ever gave legs to. I imagine a small one could be tasty, I try to grow all the onions and garlic I need.
21 posted on 07/21/2003 4:52:20 PM PDT by djf
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To: djf
By another name, and favored in England for years:
Squab.
22 posted on 07/21/2003 4:53:56 PM PDT by cavtrooper21 (When in doubt, give em' both barrels.... then git in there quick with yer Bowie!)
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To: cavtrooper21
These were corn fed! Deelishus. I wouldn't eat no city pigeon. And I saw chickens do things that would repulse any normal person for the rest of his life.
23 posted on 07/21/2003 4:56:52 PM PDT by djf
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To: New Horizon
Mmmmmmm . . . Weed-rat stew . . . Topped with a little fish eye tartar and you've got heaven on earth!
24 posted on 07/21/2003 4:57:18 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: cavtrooper21
I think that it would actually be "Wabbitus Woastus".
25 posted on 07/21/2003 4:58:07 PM PDT by Redcloak (All work and no FReep makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no FReep make s Jack a dul boy. Allwork an)
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To: djf
Pigeons are pretty common game. I used to hunt wild pigeon with an air-rifle. Good eating.
26 posted on 07/21/2003 5:03:15 PM PDT by buwaya
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To: buwaya
Used to hunt pheasant and duck. Trouble with duck, is no matter what you do, you end up with a greaseball. Old man used to hunt woodcock with the twelve gauge. Take 75 of them to get a mouthfull!
27 posted on 07/21/2003 5:08:12 PM PDT by djf
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To: apackof2
Yeah, those hummingbird wings will really tickle your ribs.
28 posted on 07/21/2003 5:19:00 PM PDT by Aliska
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To: I still care
I read somewhere (I think 'Food In History')that liquamen survived as worchestershire sauce. Woostus Saucus. It does have anchovies in it. The rest of the world gave up on salty fish sauce except the Orient and Brittania. Interesting.
29 posted on 07/21/2003 5:19:00 PM PDT by squarebarb
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To: cavtrooper21
Isn't that"....WOAST WABBIT!!!"

You are correct! Duck or Wabbit season?

30 posted on 07/21/2003 5:19:00 PM PDT by TheSpottedOwl (You bring tar, I'll bring feathers....recall Davis in 03!!!)
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To: apackof2
Had to be hummingbirds, the mice are so small!

Some of 'em grow to about half a pound.

Exceprted from this source.

The single species, Myoxus glis, occurs from France and northern Spain to the Volga River and northern Iran and on the islands of Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, Crete, and Corfu (Corbet 1978); it also is present in England as the result of introduction . . . .

Head and body length is 130-90 mm, tail length is 110-50 mm, and weight is 70-180 grams (Van Den Brink 1968). The short, soft, thick pelage is silvery gray to brownish gray on the upper parts, lighter on the flanks, and white or yellowish on the underparts. This squirrel-like animal has large and rounded ears, small eyes, and a long, densely bushy tail. The hands and feet, with their rough pads, are adapted for climbing. Females have 10 or 12 mammae (Ognev 1963) . . . .

The edible dormouse inhabits deciduous or mixed forests and fruit orchards in both lowlands and mountains . . . .

In some areas Myoxus is considered extremely harmful to the production of fruit and wine. It consumes large amounts of apples, pears, plums, and grapes and has been reported to destroy one-third of the grape crop in the northern Caucasus. However, it is easily trapped, there is some demand for its luxuriant fur, and it is hunted for use as food and a source of fat. In ancient Rome Myoxtis was considered a delicacy, and colonies were kept in large enclosures planted with nut-bearing bushes and provided with nesting sites. Prior to a feast, individual animals would be confined to earthen urns and fattened on acorns and chestnuts. The meat of Myoxus is still a gourmet dish in some parts of Europe.

31 posted on 07/21/2003 5:19:16 PM PDT by the bottle let me down (Still tilting at windmills)
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To: squarebarb
This is from a cooking site. Frankly worchestershire sounds a little more appetizing.

Liquimen and Garum

Garum is a condiment or sauce widely used by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Take some small fish, the intestines of some larger fish, maybe some oysters, salt them, maybe add some vinegar, pepper and/or other spices. Then set this in the sun for several days. At this point it is called liquimen. As this appetizing mass of stuff would ferment and putrefy it oozed a liquid. This liquid is garum. Used as a seasoning in cooking and also as a table condiment. There are several modern versions of this: Pissalat from Nice and nuoc-mam in Vietnam are two of them.


32 posted on 07/21/2003 5:39:12 PM PDT by I still care
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To: djf
Sorry, but some things are just too nasty looking to eat...


33 posted on 07/21/2003 5:52:59 PM PDT by New Horizon
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To: New Horizon
Guarantee if you were hungry enough, you'd eat worse than that. If it came down to it, I wouldn't even have to hunt them. Just throw some of the hounds food over the fence and wait till he raises a ruckus. Had a MONSTER one behind my house about 3 yrs back, and the mutt killed two juveniles in the back yard last year.
34 posted on 07/21/2003 6:00:17 PM PDT by djf
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To: New Horizon
Now, I don't mean to brag...but I make a mean weed-rat stew.

I think that's what the French call ratatouille.

<]B^)

35 posted on 07/21/2003 6:53:37 PM PDT by Erasmus
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To: djf
These were corn fed! Deelishus. I wouldn't eat no city pigeon. And I saw chickens do things that would repulse any normal person for the rest of his life.

You musta grown up on the farm with Larry Flynt.

<]B^)

36 posted on 07/21/2003 6:58:25 PM PDT by Erasmus
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To: Erasmus
The Romans had an interesting habit when it came to their little get-togethers. If the conversation was lively, and many were awake and interested, they would dilute the wine with water, to keep people somewhat sober and alert.
If however the goings weren't all that good, or friction was developing, they would serve it full strength, and encourage all sorts debauchery. And of course everyone knows they had troughs so that as soon as they ate their fill of things they liked, they'd vomit, clean themselves up, and go back for seconds.
37 posted on 07/21/2003 8:03:00 PM PDT by djf
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To: blam
The basic food of Romans was wheat, usually boiled as a porridge and flavored with a wide variety of things, both sweet and savory (more usually the latter). Most Romans had only a charcoal brazier in their rooms for heat and minor cooking and took their food to a bakery or other such shop to be cooked, or bought it there.
38 posted on 07/21/2003 8:51:07 PM PDT by jordan8
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Just adding this to the GGG catalog, not sending a general distribution.

Please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
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39 posted on 07/30/2005 7:53:02 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Down with Dhimmicrats! I last updated by FR profile on Tuesday, May 10, 2005.)
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To: djf
"I imagine a small one could be tasty..."

I have recipes. Do you have time for a scald & scrape carcass prep or do you just have time for a quick skinning?

40 posted on 06/19/2007 11:34:27 PM PDT by gnarledmaw (I traded freedom for security and all I got were these damned shackles.)
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 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


41 posted on 07/21/2012 10:46:43 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: blam

Okay, they ate dormice and hares. How about hatters?


42 posted on 07/21/2012 11:07:44 AM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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