Friday, September 30, 2016

Want to Eat 2,000-Year-Old Butter? Bog Butter Found in Ireland

Want to Eat 2,000-Year-Old Butter? Bog Butter Found in Ireland

bog butter

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A massive lump of bog butter has been unearthed from a peat bog in County Meath in Ireland on June 1. Discovered by farmer Jack Conway, the ancient butter weighs 10 kilograms, dating back to 2,000 years ago.

The bog butter, found 12 feet or 3.6 meters underground, is a creamy white dairy product that smells like a typical strong cheese. Although the butter itself did not declare its age, the dirt and pieces of surrounding it helped reveal how long ago it was buried there.

Conway made the discovery while cutting turf in Emlagh bog in County Meath. The butter was given to the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin so they can study and gather more details about it.

People used to bury bog butter to preserve it for later use or to offer it to gods or spirits to bring them prosperity. Usually, the item is placed inside a wooden container or animal hide but the one recently found was not. Still, experts agree that it is a great find.

“In early medieval Ireland butter was a luxury food often used as a means to pay taxes and rents,” states the Cavan County Museum. “It was sometimes used as an offering to the spirits and gods to keep people and their property safe – when used as offerings it would have been buried and never dug up again.”

Andy Halpin, an assistant keeper in the museum’s Irish Antiquities Division, told BreakingNews that in the olden times in the Drakerath area, where the artifact was found, was “like a no-man’s-land” and mostly inaccessible and shrouded in mystery. It was at this point in history that three different kingdoms existed at the same time and their borders meet in the area. The discovery of the buried bog butter in the same locality makes it very significant to history.

Irish celebrity chef and television personality Kevin Thornton has apparently tasted the bog butter. However, Halpin says that the butter though still theoretically edible, he believes it is not probably a good idea to eat it.