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Trojan pig – Roman dish

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Pig with porcini on a Roman mosaic. It is located in the Vatican Museums in Rome
Pig with truffles on a Roman mosaic. It is located in the Vatican Museums in Rome

Information about a luxurious Roman dish – the so-called The “Trojan pig” comes from the 5th century and we owe it to the scientist Macrobius. Macrobius himself describes the meaning of the dish as follows: “made pregnant with other animals and enclosed within as the Trojan horse was made pregnant with armed men”.

Such a dish is also mentioned by Petronius in his work “Satyricon”, with the difference, however, that the pig was filled with sausages. When the body of the animal was cut open, sausages imitating intestines fell out of its belly.

Such a dish was supposed to be on the table of Trimalchio, who, while serving such a dish, decided to make a joke of the guests. When the pig was served on the table, the cook informed the host that he had forgotten to gut the animal. The furious Trimalchio immediately ordered him to undress to punish him. However, the guests begged him for mercy, and Trimalchio had the animal’s belly cut open. Then sausages fell onto the table and everyone laughed.

Sources
  • Mary Beard, Heston’s Roman Feast
  • Macrobius, Saturnalia, III.13
  • John A. Paschalidis, Spit-roasted Trojan Pig, "Australian Shooter", Marzec 2001

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