It’s Huge and Way Past Its Expiration Date

Bog_butter_-_Ulster_Museum

500 year old bog butter – not much to look at

The Irish have been making butter for a very long time, at least 5,000 years. We know, because some of it is still around.

Finding buried treasure is a dream as old as story-telling. Treasure chests overflowing with gold doubloons, shiny lamps containing genies, gargantuan lumps of thousand-year-old butter… with a distinctive, pungent and slightly offensive smell.

Some poor soul buried their store of butter and never returned for it. I bet there’s a story in that.

People who sample bog butter say it tastes more like cheese and modern butter, but after thousands of years I’d expect something to change. Bogs are acidic, cold-water swamps that exclude most oxygen. They occur is various north European countries and butter isn’t the only thing preserved there. Studies have shown burying meat in a bog is as effective as keeping it in a modern freezer. You may be more familiar with mummies found in bogs.

I’d love to spread some bog butter on my morning toast, but I’d want it cultured for pathogens first! I’m a wimp.

Thanks stuff.co.nz 2000-year-old-lump-of-butter

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