Fontaine à Chambéry

Fontaine à Chambéry

Sunday, June 23, 2013

They Ate What?!

I wrote a post a month or so ago about the British Museum's app for its Pompeii exhibit. Many museums are beginning to incorporate technology into their exhibits, which is great! While using an app certainly isn't the same as seeing artifacts in person--or in their original location (don't get me started on this subject!)--you can download an app and see the objects in the exhibit without having to travel to the museum. This is really nice when the museum you're interested in visiting is halfway across the world and travel just isn't feasible. 

I was looking at my Pompeii app this morning and came across this cool artifact. Dormice, small European rodents, were delicacies in ancient Rome and are actually still considered as such in Slovenia and Croatia. Delicacies vary by culture. What's delicious to the French, like frog legs and escargot, may not appeal to you (but having tried both, I can assure you that they're delicious). Scottish people eat haggis, which is a type of pudding made from sheep organs. The Japanese eat raw fish in their sushi. In South American countries like Ecuador and Peru, guinea pigs are common fare. As the proud owner of several guinea pigs throughout my life, I can't say they're high on my list of things to try. I can cross haggis off too. 

I didn't realize that an ancient jar would cause me to think so much about delicacies and cultural food norms. What would be a delicacy in the U.S.? I've thought about this all day and can't come up with anything. I suppose it would vary by location within the country. In thousands of years, will archaeologists unearth bags of Cheetos, or even boxes of Twinkies, and think twenty-first century Americans ate these regularly? I suppose some do.

 This little artifact from Pompeii, which probably is nothing spectacular and was a common household item, has really caused this modern girl to think about what people eat and how willing we are to try new things. 

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