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Ancient Pompeii Diet Consisted of Giraffe and Other "Exotic'" Delicacies

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the crunchy-frog dept.

Earth 172

Philip Ross writes "New research into Pompeiians' daily lives is broadening our understanding of this ancient Roman culture, particularly their eating habits, before Mt. Vesuvius brought it all crumbling down nearly 2,000 years ago. Over the past decade, archaeologists excavating a row of building plots discovered remnants of food that would have been widely available and inexpensive in ancient Italy, like grains, fruits, olives, lentils, local fish, nuts and chicken eggs. They also uncovered evidence that Pompeiians enjoyed a variety of exotic foods, some of which would have been imported from outside Italy, including sea urchins, flamingos and even the butchered leg joint of a giraffe."

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MMMM !! GIRAFE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45874589)

And the donkey is good I hear for the rest !!

Re:MMMM !! GIRAFE !! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45874681)

Nah, donkey tastes like ass.

Re:MMMM !! GIRAFE !! (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about 9 months ago | (#45874965)

They probably preferred antelope with cantaloupe.

Re:MMMM !! GIRAFE !! (4, Interesting)

flyneye (84093) | about 9 months ago | (#45875119)

This was Pompeii, if they couldn't eat it , they fucked it.
Ever seen the "hidden" archaeological findings?
These people didn't have T.V., radio, or internet, but they put on some damn elaborate sex shows.
It was considered normal to put on a show for your house guests.

Re:MMMM !! GIRAFE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875413)

So what you're saying is that the destruction of Pompeii was Gods work! Sinners be damned in fire and brimstone!!!

Re:MMMM !! GIRAFE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875671)

Which god? The Christian god was still under construction at that point. This was before Mithra's day, Lupercalia day and Eostre day were converted to Christmas, Valentines day and Easter.

Re:MMMM !! GIRAFE !! (3, Interesting)

_merlin (160982) | about 9 months ago | (#45875875)

It's the Old Testament where the God of the Israelites rains fire and brimstone on wicked cities. That had already been written.

Re:MMMM !! GIRAFE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45876317)

There's still doing it, though these days it's phosphorous and shrapnel instead of fire and brimstone.

Re:MMMM !! GIRAFE !! (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 9 months ago | (#45875555)

You must have had that Chinese Walmart donkey with extra fox meat...

Re:MMMM !! GIRAFE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875773)

This you know. Pompeiiian are you?

Re:MMMM !! GIRAFE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875839)

Giraffes are assholes so they deserve to be eaten occasionally.

Re:MMMM !! GIRAFE !! (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 9 months ago | (#45875779)

It must taste like chicken.

Typical Roman cuisine (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45874625)

It didn't matter if it tasted good, the point was you were showing off your ability to buy meat from an animal that lived thousands of miles away.

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (3, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 9 months ago | (#45874725)

I think you're onto something. TFA says this was in the section of the city that was "non-elite." I guess it's human nature to want to buy silly things to make yourself look like you're higher in society than you actually feel.

Unrelated question, anyone have a reccomendation for the best fake-diamond studded case for my iphone?

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45874729)

anyone have a reccomendation for the best fake-diamond studded case for my iphone?

If you want an iPhone to look good, hollow out a HTC One and jam the iPhone inside.

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45874783)

Switching to Windows Phone is a better idea.

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45874929)

Only a better idea for Microsoft's profits.. They're not very good phones for normal people to use.

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45874961)

Switching to Windows Phone is a better idea.

"Better idea" than what? Self-immolation? Seppuku? Voting Republican?

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875431)

After the mistrust I go through during a day of trying to use Windows, always wondering who's using all the memory, what's tying up the CPU, wondering what viruses and hostile code I may get by just visiting a website, I kind of think of Microsoft like a public toilet.

The boss loves the idea he can get cheap software, and seems to think he can solve any problem about stolen data with a call to his lawyer. For me personally, its like having to take a bad road to work during a bad fog, where all sorts of DRM and trolling take place - a place where I cannot trust anyone's true identity, but failing to honor some demand by some business can result in all sorts of punitive action. I feel I am being coerced into signing legal agreements without being allowed to read them. These agreements are not enforced by men with guns, but the cold machinations of a central processing unit executing instructions given to it by an entity I am not allowed to verify.

In my mind, Microsoft has sold themselves into prostitution, getting into bed with whatever special interest that pays their fee. They carry all the diseases to prove it, and the doctors get even richer selling me all sorts of pills that may or may not relieve the distress of visiting the wrong whore.

I realize Microsoft is the Language of Business. In order to make myself valuable to the business-man, I have to tolerate this lack of robustness and accountability. The business-man does not see how I need to reboot my machine daily to recover my memory and free up CPU cycles from only God knows what scripts got launched yet I have no control over. I know nothing is confidential in my machine. I have a cheap WalMart laptop I use exclusively for web browsing and research, as know its going to get dirty. I use a toilet brush to clean the toilet too. I object to having the toilet brush on my dining table; and also object to having Microsoft products around where anything confidential is being discussed. I feel as uncomfortable doing banking with this kind of technology as conducting my financial business in a dark alley. Even if I have to hire private security, which also have histories of co-operating with the bad guys.

In my personal life, about the last thing I want to buy with my OWN money is anything to do with Microsoft, whether it be Microsoft phone, or some sort of Microsoft stuff in my car. I like dependable tools. A professional mountaineer is likely to scoff about carabiners purchased at the dollar store. I am scoffing for the very same reason. Damn thing is apt to fail. However, looking at it from a business point of view, if I could get the mountaineer to work for me, had him sign away all liability I had in the matter, I could save money by having him use the dollar store carabiners.

As far as I am concerned, Microsoft is business-grade software, sold to executives. Its not the kind of tool you would try to sell to a mechanic.

I will post this rant AC. This has been my experience in this manner. I am sorely disappointed that this charade of trying to build a trustworthy computing platform as gone on for so long and we are still without a truly viable and trustworthy operating system.

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875591)

I kind of think of Microsoft like a public toilet.

You mostly use them to surreptitiously cruise for dudes? I hear there's apps for every platform for that.

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (0)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 9 months ago | (#45875543)

Switching to Windows Phone is a better idea.

. . . Which you've stuffed into the iPhone that you've stuffed into the hollowed-out HTC One.

Romans put Turducken to shame.

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45874813)

That would at least protect it from getting stolen. I hear thieves in some areas actually return Android phones if they accidentally steal them.

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45874975)

OP: I hear thieves in some areas actually return Android phones if they accidentally steal them.

IDC: Android hit 81.0% smartphone share in Q3 2013, iOS fell to 12.9%
Venturebeat: Android’s share of global device sales growing 14-times faster than iOS
IBT: Android Powers 81 Percent Of All Smartphones Shipped Worldwide In Q3 As iOS Market Share Drops

I'm guessing by "some areas" you mean mental institutions?

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875191)

Those numbers don't mean what you likely think that they do:
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/nov/07/android-market-share-smartphone-users-google-apple [theguardian.com]

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875295)

Here, I'll summarise:

[RDF Off] USA /= World [RDF On]

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about 9 months ago | (#45875691)

Yeah, I have one of those 80% Android phones. I bought it because it was cheap. Apple has nothing to worry about.

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (0)

crimson tsunami (3395179) | about 9 months ago | (#45876365)

Arent Iphones really fat though?

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45874835)

Pfft, a case for your iphone? It's only extravagant if it's for an outmoded or completely superfluous piece of kit. I'm saving up for this puppy. [cartier.us]

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 9 months ago | (#45875453)

I'm saving up for this puppy. [cartier.us]

Liberace? Is that you?

Wow you guys are tards. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875437)

Do you have ANY way of relating to the world and its history besides through windows-bashing or other discussions of gadgets? And ners are supposed to be smart.

Re:Wow you guys are tards. (1)

Dutchmaan (442553) | about 9 months ago | (#45875933)

You will have to forgive my lack of intelligence on the matter, but what are "ners" and how do they relate to the intelligent narrative of the world and its history? Please explain with gadgetry references so that my feeble mind can grasp this child like concept.

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45874809)

Maybe it was marketed as a height enhancement aid for males.

Haha, I'm glad that nobody nowadays would fall for that kind of a scam!

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875113)

It didn't matter if it tasted good, the point was you were showing off your ability to buy meat from an animal that lived thousands of miles away.

I'd just serve chicken and say it was giraffe. Same for Komodo dragon. White meat for lizards. Dark meat for other terrestrials and bay seal. Same for whale.

The key to pulling this off is to over cook it. Most folks think endangered species has tough meat so make sure to keep that chicken on a bit too long.

You may want to carve it or press it with a cookie cutter to make it look like it came from the animal - McDonald's does this all the time.

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (1)

icebike (68054) | about 9 months ago | (#45875177)

It didn't matter if it tasted good, the point was you were showing off your ability to buy meat from an animal that lived thousands of miles away.

No refrigeration.

So if there was a butchered leg joint, chances are that is all there really was. Just a souvenir joint, perhaps for bone carving.
Seems unlikely you would butcher and salt a Giraffe, AND take the bones with you. Too heavy. No food value.

Its not like you can capture one, and walk it to Pompeii. You've got a thousand miles to transport the meat, and the only way
that happens is dry it and salt it. So it seems as likely it was a hunters Roman soldier's souvenir or a trade good as a food
article. Probably his wife made him throw it out when it began to stink.

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (4, Informative)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 9 months ago | (#45875257)

It didn't matter if it tasted good, the point was you were showing off your ability to buy meat from an animal that lived thousands of miles away.

No refrigeration.

So if there was a butchered leg joint, chances are that is all there really was. Just a souvenir joint, perhaps for bone carving. Seems unlikely you would butcher and salt a Giraffe, AND take the bones with you. Too heavy. No food value.

Well, you could just, you know, bring captured live animals back with you to sell as a delicacy or for use as a pet/in the arena. Simply google "giraffes in the coliseum" and the very first hit has a list of exotic animals shown in the Coliseum, as well as documents in a particular festival where 19 giraffes were killed. So if a giraffe bone made it to Pompeii, it was very likely alive when it got there.

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (-1, Redundant)

icebike (68054) | about 9 months ago | (#45875425)

ell, you could just, you know, bring captured live animals back with you to sell as a delicacy or for use as a pet/in the arena.

Look at a map some day, Ok?

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875573)

Read a history book. The city of Rome, which is quite close to Pompeii, had a little building called the Coliseum (although it was not the only arena in the Empire, I don't think exotic animals would be as common in smaller cities). The Roman Empire was huge, rich and powerful. Because of the extent they entered in contact with other cultures and animals that were not common in Rome. Some of these animals were brought back to be shown in the Coliseum, sometimes in huge (and expensive) battles to the death. From the Wikipedia:

The Colosseum was used to host gladiatorial shows as well as a variety of other events. The shows, called munera, were always given by private individuals rather than the state. They had a strong religious element but were also demonstrations of power and family prestige, and were immensely popular with the population. Another popular type of show was the animal hunt, or venatio. This utilized a great variety of wild beasts, mainly imported from Africa and the Middle East, and included creatures such as rhinoceros, hippopotamuses, elephants, giraffes, aurochs, wisents, Barbary lions, panthers, leopards, bears, Caspian tigers, crocodiles and ostriches. Battles and hunts were often staged amid elaborate sets with movable trees and buildings. Such events were occasionally on a huge scale; Trajan is said to have celebrated his victories in Dacia in 107 with contests involving 11,000 animals and 10,000 gladiators over the course of 123 days.

Probably the giraffes were more for show, as I don't think they are much fun in battle.

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875883)

Read a history book.

Take your own advice. Random web pages are not history books. Pliny the Elder (perhaps you've heard of him, he wrote basically the first encyclopedia and was killed during the destruction of Pompeii) wrote about giraffes in his Naturalis Historia. They were absolutely not common. The first one was brought by Caesar in 46 BC and only a handful were ever seen after. The first to be killed was by Commodus in the late 2nd century AD, after Pliny's death. Philip the Arab was said to have killed ten giraffes to celebrate the millennium of Rome's founding (written about in Historia Augusta, whose veracity is questionable). That's pretty much the extent of mentions of giraffes in Roman Italy.

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45876005)

Wikipedia is not a random web page (and you as an AC *are* a random web commenter giving uncited facts about giraffes, though I won't contest them).

Nobody said giraffes were common in Italy. They said there were occasionally live giraffes brought in. And we have evidence of giraffe remains in the drain of a restaurant, alongside sea urchins and shellfish also not native to Italy.

A giraffe import wouldn't be cheap. Actually I'd be interested in a sort of economic analysis of what it *would* cost relative to other things available to Roman wealth (as opposed to knee-jerk plausibility assessments) -- certainly they cannot have been butchering all that many imported giraffes, but could the local economy at the time of Pompeii's fall support, say, a giraffe a week? A giraffe a decade? Once ever? Only a random souvenir, as an ancestor post asserted? I don't know.

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45876255)

Giraffes would be brought by boat from around Kenya, up to a Red Sea port, taken east across the desert to Apollonopolis, and then north on the Nile, and then across the Mediterranean.

I know they transported live elephants, it shouldn't be much more trouble.

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875913)

Throw the Christians to the giraffes

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (5, Informative)

immaterial (1520413) | about 9 months ago | (#45875337)

It is important to note that in ancient Roman times, many species that are now confined to sub-Saharan Africa were living in North Africa (and some all the way into Greece) because of the wetter climate. This includes elephants, lions, and giraffes. These "exotic" animals weren't as far away as it seems.

Re:Typical Roman cuisine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875985)

If you were that rich, you'd be going to visit those places and eating it fresh instead of getting it when it's nearly rotten

Re: Typical Roman cuisine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45876337)

Basically the whole Pompeii was a summerhouse center for super-wealthy Romans. Sure, some regular folks lived there too and they probably got bad parts of any excess meat cheaply in a sort of "trickle-down" style.

maybe its good... (5, Insightful)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 9 months ago | (#45874745)

i don't know why people here are assuming it doesn't taste good...we really have no idea. ...and let's not forget, different cultures have radically different preferences in taste.

it only takes one example, the Asian fondness for the to-our-western-palettes-horrific fruit Durian, to make this point.

Re:maybe its good... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45874767)

Modern day Republicans

Re:maybe its good... (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 9 months ago | (#45874805)

we really have no idea

Surely what giraffe meat tastes like is still known to mankind; it's not like they're extinct or anything...

Re:maybe its good... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#45874823)

we really have no idea

Surely what giraffe meat tastes like is still known to mankind; it's not like they're extinct or anything...

We're not done eating them yet. Anyone for seconds? ;)

Re:maybe its good... (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 9 months ago | (#45875075)

I just googled for giraffe meat and I found quite a few people talking about eating it though I didn't find anywhere listing current prices and stock.

Re:maybe its good... (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 9 months ago | (#45875473)

Giraffe stock? Is that like Chicken stock?

Re:maybe its good... (5, Funny)

Nikker (749551) | about 9 months ago | (#45875553)

Yes, but it comes in a much taller jar.

Re:maybe its good... (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 9 months ago | (#45875401)

lol...yeah but who holds that knowledge?

perhaps this is new area for Google.

Google Meat ;)

Re:maybe its good... (1)

Phroggy (441) | about 9 months ago | (#45875941)

we really have no idea

Surely what giraffe meat tastes like is still known to mankind; it's not like they're extinct or anything...

As is so often the case, those of us posting here on Slashdot have no idea. Of course someone does, but we don't.

Re:maybe its good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45874971)

maybe it's good ...we really have no idea.

Don't be silly. Giraffe isn't on the endangered list. In South Africa and Botswana it's quite easy to get Giraffe, Hippo, Lion, and quite a few other "exotic" meats.

Re:maybe its good... (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 9 months ago | (#45875417)

it only takes one example, the Asian fondness for the to-our-western-palettes-horrific fruit Durian, to make this point.

While durian smells terrible, the taste isn't that bad. A better example is a balut [wikipedia.org] .

Re:maybe its good... (1)

Mr. Firewall (578517) | about 9 months ago | (#45875635)

While durian smells terrible, the taste isn't that bad.

I remember hearing the same thing about pussy, as a young man

Re:maybe its good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875969)

Don't worry, someday you'll get to debunk that one personally.

Re:maybe its good... (1)

ArbitraryName (3391191) | about 9 months ago | (#45875661)

i don't know why people here are assuming it doesn't taste good...we really have no idea.

Of course "we" have an idea. Giraffe meat is eaten in parts of Africa [allafrica.com]

Re:maybe its good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875837)

Indeed. Many cultures have no taste whatsoever.

Re:maybe its good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875865)

Durian is delicious, it just smells bad.
It would be popular in the west with good marketing.

Re:maybe its good... (1)

Ozoner (1406169) | about 9 months ago | (#45875999)

Durian smells bad, but tastes wonderful

Some Things Are Still in the Stores Today (3, Interesting)

IonOtter (629215) | about 9 months ago | (#45874795)

Garum liquamen [wikipedia.org] is still in the stores today, still doing the same things it did for the ancient Greeks and Romans. We know it as "fish sauce", with one of the most well-known names being Viet Huong 3 Crabs Fish Sauce. [vietworldkitchen.com]

Re:Some Things Are Still in the Stores Today (1)

Horshu (2754893) | about 9 months ago | (#45874827)

Not quite the same as the Roman recipe. Try Colatura for something closer to the real thing.

Re:Some Things Are Still in the Stores Today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875397)

Both probably reasonably approximate sauces the Romans consumed. Garum and Liquamen recipes varied widely (indeed, at some point sin history, the two were considered interchangeable, while at other times, they were considered distinct products).

There was no "real thing," only a range of salty fermented fish sauces.

Re:Some Things Are Still in the Stores Today (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#45875077)

I was once laughed at for checking the "best before" date on a bottle of fish sauce. It's already gone off.

Re:Some Things Are Still in the Stores Today (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 9 months ago | (#45875281)

Meh. As far as I'm concerned, fish sauce is off the moment it's made, no matter what it says on the bottle.

Re:Some Things Are Still in the Stores Today (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 9 months ago | (#45875483)

Let me award you a "whoosh".

Re:Some Things Are Still in the Stores Today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45876397)

He's just way past his best before date, just like me :).

Does Not Compare To Obama White House (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45874987)

The Obama White House regularly serves 5-year old Kenyan boy brain and testicles in a rich Soufflé made from the liver, kidneys and spinal column based by a souse made from the blood.

Obama, "Mmmmmm ... now dat wa I likez."

 

HATE Endangered Species Platter! (-1, Flamebait)

retroworks (652802) | about 9 months ago | (#45875013)

"Carnivore Restaurant" and other ESP restaurants encourage bushmeat trading. I hope a volcano erupts on top of them. Every one of them, even the people standing beside them minding their own business, a la Pompei. Extinction is the closest thing we give, as a mistake, to our forever grandchildren, who will not care a whit if their ancesters skeletons tasted endangered species.

It only takes one bastard out of a hundred thousand to order gorilla brain as a fucking appetizer. Pompei them all.

Re:HATE Endangered Species Platter! (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 9 months ago | (#45875169)

At least these animals were dying for a decent purpose: someone's meal. Exotic animals from Africa and Asia were often brought in to the Roman Empire for the simple purpose of being killed in the arena for sport. Of course, the Romans had no concept of "endangered species", nor is it likely that the giraffe was in fact endangered at that point in history(at least, not endangered by humans). And really, your rant makes no sense. It's not as if the tourists to Pompeii are standing around chowing down on roast giraffe legs or smoked tiger ribs. Should we stop eating cows or chickens, animals in abundance now, because they MAY be endangered 2000 years from now?

Re:HATE Endangered Species Platter! (-1)

turbidostato (878842) | about 9 months ago | (#45875735)

"At least these animals were dying for a decent purpose"

Is there any difference?

"someone's meal"

No, not someone's meal. Someone's amusing. Or do you really think giraffe was a significant part of Rome feeding?

"Exotic animals from Africa and Asia were often brought in to the Roman Empire for the simple purpose of being killed in the arena for sport"

Again wrong. There were brought into the arena for people's amusing. See? exactly same purpose.

Re:HATE Endangered Species Platter! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875929)

Pff they were missing out they should have tried the Galapagos tortoise that's some good eats

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k-l1HLj9Nk [youtube.com]

Re:HATE Endangered Species Platter! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45876085)

Bro calm down it's just a bunch of animals. It's not like they are people.

The Asterix comics were right! (4, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#45875067)

Romans eating Giraffe (with honey?) was mentioned in at least one of them.

exotic (4, Informative)

belmolis (702863) | about 9 months ago | (#45875123)

Sea urchins aren't exotic for Italy. They may be considered an exotic food in North America, but they're indigenous to the Mediterranean and eaten in the region.

Re:exotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875261)

Sea urchins aren't exotic for Italy.

That's right. I'm sure there were plenty of poor children living by the sea.

I've never ate one myself, but I hear they taste like chicken.

what ??? (3, Informative)

giampy (592646) | about 9 months ago | (#45875439)

... I hear they taste like chicken.

WHAT ??? Sea urchins taste like chicken ?? No way!! If you have to find a comparison perhaps caviar is the closer (but still far) one, since you basically eat the eggs of the female urchin.

In any case sea urchins are more of a delicacy or condiment at best, not a consistent source of proteins. If anything because finding them, fishing them (and opening them) requires some dedicated manual effort, which is not easy to scale or automate.

Re: what ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875641)

Sea urchins - urchin - poor raggedly dressed chilren. Sea urchin - child living by the sea. See?

Re:exotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875363)

It is also pretty common in Asia, particular Japan where it part of a sushi meal.
http://www.sushifaq.com/sushi-sashimi-info/sushi-item-profiles/sushi-items-uni-sea-urchin/

Re:exotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875385)

Thanks. I was gonna say the same.

Re:exotic (1)

forand (530402) | about 9 months ago | (#45875579)

Sea urchins are very common on the coast of Northern California. It is pretty much only eaten by fishermen and at Japanese restaurants though. Regardless, I suspect that the point of the article was that sea urchins aren't native to the sea immediately surrounding Pompeii. While it is likely Giraffes were walked from Africa, taking a barrel of sea water and sea urchins even 100 miles in a ox cart would still be considered just as exotic.

Re:exotic (1)

turbidostato (878842) | about 9 months ago | (#45875785)

"I suspect that the point of the article was that sea urchins aren't native to the sea immediately surrounding Pompeii"

And they would be wrong. Basically there's no place all along Mediterranean coast where you can't find sea urchins.

wolf's nipples chips (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875135)

wolf's nipples chips.

Re:wolf's nipples chips (2)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about 9 months ago | (#45875359)

Imagine over-frying the nipples in the fryolator and having to throw out the batch, while a nipple-less wolf stares accusingly at you.

Maybe he nudges the legless frog in the wheel next to him and rolls his eyes.

IAAL(AAA) (i am a lawyer and an archaeologist) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875227)

And I've worked at Pompeii. Not sure where Ellis go the idea that there was ever a "traditional vision of some mass of hapless lemmings - scrounging for whatever they can pinch from the side of a street." Pompeii has long been known from both epigraphic and archaeological evidence to have been a prosperous seaside town and popular destination for well off Romans.

That different restaurants and tabernae catered to various social strata comes as absolutely no surprise, especially given the fact that habitations in the site range from modest shacks to villas resplendent with sculpture, virtuoso frescoes, and fantastic mosaics. Given wealthy Romans' well-known penchant for exotic delicacies, the presence of giraffe, etc. shocks absolutely no one.

Re:IAAL(AAA) (i am a lawyer and an archaeologist) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875709)

Hmm. On one hand we have a random anonymous dude on the internet making grandiose claims. On the other we have a PhD archaeologist regarded as a pioneer in fieldwork who heads up the Pompeii project.

Gotta say I'm torn here.

Re:IAAL(AAA) (i am a lawyer and an archaeologist) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45876409)

Nowadays it seems researchers aren't that reliable - too often they are ust hyping stuff up or even trolling just to get more funding - and not so concerned about uncovering the truth (if they uncovered the whole truth too soon, they would need to find something else to do and get funding for).

Thus a random slashdot AC might actually be more believable than a random PhD researcher of today, especially if the AC's claims can be verified to have some basis in fact.

About that giraffe (4, Funny)

gargleblast (683147) | about 9 months ago | (#45875289)

About that giraffe leg:

"I'll have the large horse leg meal please."

"Would you like to go supersize for an extra denarius?"

"Err - yeah. Supersize me."

Re:About that giraffe (2)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 9 months ago | (#45875445)

Giraffe - gives new meaning to the term "haute cuisine".

Meat from the Roman Games (5, Informative)

jonze (73484) | about 9 months ago | (#45875317)

Any Roman city with self esteem had an arena for gladiator games. Part of these was the mass slaughter of 'exotic' animals. Not just predators such as Lions and Tigers but Flamingo's, Giraf's, Anteloupes and the like. In fact, the capture and import of these animals was big business and Rome emptied entire regions of its wildlife. Lions, for instance, are still extinct in Syria as a result of the capture and transport of Lions to the arena's of Rome. Quite a bit of the meat from these games found it's way to the market and was even given to the poor to show the generosity of the games organizers.

Re:Meat from the Roman Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875499)

As did Pompeii [wikipedia.org]

We don't serve no giraffe here! (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 9 months ago | (#45875405)

According to Ellis, this was the first giraffe bone ever found during an archaeological excavation of ancient Roman Italy.

What if that one piece of bone was a part of a funny advertizement that hung just outside the door? "We don't sell no giraffe here!"

Seriously though, why would they speculate that it was something that was eaten, if they only found one?

Re:We don't serve no giraffe here! (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 9 months ago | (#45875595)

Seriously though, why would they speculate that it was something that was eaten, if they only found one?

Because they ate all the rest, of course. . .

Re:We don't serve no giraffe here! (1)

ArbitraryName (3391191) | about 9 months ago | (#45875711)

Seriously though, why would they speculate that it was something that was eaten, if they only found one?

Because it was butchered and in kitchen garbage.

Otters' noses (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875529)

Larks' tongues. Wrens' livers. Chaffinch brains. Jaguars' earlobes. Wolf nipple chips. Get 'em while they're hot. They're lovely. Dromedary pretzels, only half a denar. Tuscany fried bats.

BRIAN: Larks' tongues. Otters' noses. Ocelot spleens.

REG: Got any nuts?

BRIAN: I haven't got any nuts. Sorry. I've got wrens' livers, badgers' spleens--

REG: No, no, no.

BRIAN: Otters' noses?

REG: I don't want any of that Roman rubbish.

JUDITH: Why don't you sell proper food?

BRIAN: Proper food?

REG: Yeah, not those rich imperialist tit-bits.

BRIAN: Well, don't blame me. I didn't ask to sell this stuff.

REG: All right. Bag of otters' noses, then.

Why not? Giraffe is Kosher (3, Informative)

mi (197448) | about 9 months ago | (#45875613)

If the history's first FDA-like authority approved of giraffe [telegraph.co.uk] even for the Chosen, why should we be surprised, the unenlightened pagans ate it?

What is interesting in the article is that the Romans possessed the technology — and the economy — to bring such exotics foods into Italy from thousands of miles away in a manner, that, while possibly expensive, was still affordable for the citizenry.

But we've known of such achievements for ages — Romans, for example, have largely stopped growing wheat in Italy long before Julius Caesar. Because it was cheaper to bring stuff over from Africa. (This made Egypt the place of strategic importance in the later civil wars.)

Roman Food Importing Logistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45875901)

Why not just make 'em walk? They've got long enough legs.

Giraffe? (2)

Tablizer (95088) | about 9 months ago | (#45875937)

That's a tall order.

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