3 Museum-Worthy Finds That People Ate Instead
When it comes to food, when do you pussy out? How old is too old to eat? Luckily, once again, history has supplied us with an answer. Apparently, if it's been around since before expiration dates were ever invented, it must still be good. Just ask the intestinal masochists who ate the following pieces of ancient history and lived to tell about it.
1,400-Year-Old Cheese Found in a Peat Bog
As a food critic in Ireland, it's no wonder one would tire of soda bread bake-offs and lively debates over the proper ratio of blood to pig offal in black pudding, but Helen Lucy Burke went as far as theft in an attempt to challenge her potato-dulled palate.
At a museum event displaying ancient stored cheese (because apparently people are willing to look at anything if it means coming in out of the rain), Burke snatched and ate a piece of "bog butter" -- dairy scraps and farm leftovers that, 1,400 years ago, had been packed in intestine, stored in a wooden barrel and buried in a peat bog.
She described it as "rancid" and "athlete's footy," yet "not revolting."
No. Of course it wasn't.
No different from gas station nachos.
40,000-Year-Old Mastodon Juice
In 2010 in the Rocky Mountains, a huge cache of Ice Age bones was discovered during the building of a dam. Builders gave scientists 50 days to dig out as much as they could before construction began again. The scientists, exhausted from working nonstop and exhilarated from the discovery of gnarly old bones, must have worked themselves into some kind of scientific orgasm. Rendered invincible by the power of the mighty Ice Age beasts they were birthing from the muddy crevice, and vindicated after enduring countless wedgies by childhood bullies, they hoisted the massive bones into the air and drank the water that gushed out of them, dubbing it "mastodon juice."
OK, so old water doesn't seem so scary, until you consider that these bones hadn't yet become fossilized. Scientists described the stench and recorded that the bones were "little changed from their original state," containing "viable protein." Viable protein that could possibly kill a modern human without the immunity defenses against it -- but hey, we all know that scientists are hardcore, risk-taking motherfuckers.
But they never tried ...
50,000-Year-Old Horse Marrow
The Explorers Club is a group of elite travelers, scientists and adventurers. They have an annual banquet during which they display their impressive mustaches, admire each other's crampons and discuss which natives have the strongest backs. Just kidding. Those days are over. But back in the '50s, despite every manner of semi-edible bug, bat, bladder and blubber on the menu, women weren't allowed to the banquet, because, well, vaginas are yucky.
At one such event, paleontologist Coleman S. Williams, despite already holding the title of Guy With the Best Butler Name Ever, was on the dinner committee. Impressing guys like these is hard, and knowing they'd already noshed on woolly mammoth and bugs the size of lapdogs, Williams figured that not just any old thing would do. It would take one special old thing. Our resourceful fellow got his hands on something suitably funky: a 50,000-year-old horse. Unfortunately, there was apparently no meat left on the animal's bones when it was found. Not to be deterred, Williams scooped out the bone marrow and served that shit up, because when life gives you marrow ... you eat it.
Cassandra Sue has an uninspired Twitter here and a well-neglected blog here.