Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Consider the Quail

Consider the #Quail

Ever wonder what ancient cooks used for eggs before the jungle fowl was domesticated?

Or ducks or geese?



For most of us Quail eggs and meat are luxury items.

Ever wonder why there are no references to sweet cakes or omelettes or other deserts in Homer and why they don't start getting mentioned until Aristophanes?

No or few eggs for cooking! Duck and geese eggs would have been seasonal.

Quail however are small birds that can be trapped with nets and raised for both eggs and meat.

However you still would have had to have spare grain to feed them!

While they will eat a variety of grain ... you have to have surplus to feed them hence quail eggs and meat as a luxury item , hunted or farmed, in ancient Greece and Europe.

They can't thrive on table scraps like some chickens.

Thats why many scholars think references to cakes in lyric poetry were references to cakes of pressed dried fruit .

See my previous post and the notes and  translation of the swallow song.