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How To Carve An Elephant

An illustration for this purpose can be found in a sixteenth-century edition of De Arte Coquinaria (On the Subject of Cooking).


A 1905 article in the Strand magazine provides more info about this work:

amongst the dishes herein enumerated we may find hot-pots of cow-heel, pickled broom buds, and Tetrapharmacon, of which latter delicacy we are told that it was made of pheasant, peacock, a wild sow's hock and udder, with a bread pudding over it.

The work is divided into ten books, beginning with soups, pickles, and sauces, and proceeding through the whole art of cookery, with hundreds of recipes, the very reading of which makes one's mouth water. For instance, who could resist "virgin sow drest with broth made of pepper, wine, honey, oyl, and stew'd damsons"? Or dormouse sausages? ...

There are many recipes in the book to dress "cramp-fish, that numb the hands of those that touch them; the cuttlefish, whose blood is like ink; the pourcontrel, or many feet, the sea-urchin or hedgehog." ...

Then, again, we are given minute instructions for the carving of beasts whose flesh was esteemed by the ancients. "In partes of Asia and Africa," we are told, "the oliphant is eaten, not as the Romans and Egyptians were wont to do, sparingly and only as pertain'd to his feete, trunk, and tayle all of which were great delicacies, but his entire carcase is carved and consumed." For the benefit of those who might happen to possess an elephant and be tempted to eat him a chart of carving instructions accompanies the text.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Dec 12, 2012 | Number of Comments: 5
Category: Animals, Food, Books, Sixteenth Century
More weirdness from the WU archive:
Comments
Listed in chronological order. Newest comments at the end.
Eating and/or using only small portions of a kill seems to be a mark of "civilization" where savages would consume and use almost all of the kill and thank Ma Nature for her bounty.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 12/12/12 at 09:46 AM
Expat, a package of cheap hot dogs would tell you something about the level of savagery in modern society. It usually lists "Made with mechanically separated pork, chicken, turkey and beef". I take that to mean everything is used but the squeal, cluck, gobble and moo. LOL
Posted by KDP in Madill, OK on 12/12/12 at 11:59 AM
I agree! When some poor dude gets fired for being truthful how can one call the society he's forced to live in civilized? Watch This
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 12/12/12 at 01:12 PM
If you kill it, Use it! ALL OF IT! That is what I respect. cool smile
@Expat While that comment may have been truthful, It also broke the primary rule of any business, NEVER insult the customer!
That said "We put the Cuss in customer service" might be a great slogan! LOL
Posted by Tyrusguy on 12/12/12 at 02:08 PM
Ty, "The Customer Is Always Right" has been spread by retailers over the past millennium to lull consumers into the false belief that they (the customer) actually have some power over the retailer and that they actually get to choose what they're going to by, at what time, place and price.

I know this to be a fact 'cause I was running stock for the family business two weeks after I was out of diapers! And, in later years my coffee cup read SHYLOCK.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 12/12/12 at 11:51 PM
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