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Re: pantry basics and beef

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  • Marilyn Traber
    Given that oxen were used as dray animals, and the cows used for dairy products, by the time it was economically useful to eat the beastie, about the only way
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 2, 1999
      Given that oxen were used as dray animals, and the cows used for dairy products,
      by the time it was economically useful to eat the beastie, about the only way to
      really serve them would ne a sausage...the fatted calf being a luxury item and
      the major populace being either farmers[oxen and dairy] or city dwellers [wither
      the top 15% of the totwal population being equites and senatorial the balance
      being the plebes who were relaticvely poor and buying their foods from cook
      shope] pig, goat and sheep would be the most common of food, so the roast of
      adult beeves like we practice today isnt as likely as veal.
      margali


      > a question about beef. I would think it would not be the most common of the
      > meats given the amount of pasture to grow one. But it by no means unknown to
      > the upper class.
      > Olivia
    • Gideon Nisbet
      How much evidence is there for cows as milk machines in classical antiquity? I was under the impression that the Romans favoured goat s milk instead. And I m
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 2, 1999
        How much evidence is there for cows as milk machines in classical
        antiquity? I was under the impression that the Romans favoured goat's milk
        instead. And I'm not convinced that even a substantial minority of farmers
        = "oxen and dairy". Can you point us at some sources for this?

        In general, my strong suspicion is that people are eating much, much less
        red meat then. Most poor people are living off garden veg (eg leeks,
        onions), grains, and pulses. The better off are living off posh-ed up
        versions of pretty much the same diet, with as much variety thrown in as
        they can afford.

        You might want to look at James Davidson's book _Courtesans and Fishcakes:
        the consuming passions of Classical Athens_ on how little culinary regard
        is given to farmed meat in antiquity. Fish is where it's at, man.

        (Okay, so he's talking about Greek stuff, not Roman, but all the same...)

        Gideon Nisbet
        Department of Classics
        University of Warwick, UK
        1978 CB750/4 F2
        http://www.csad.ox.ac.uk/POxy/


        On Tue, 2 Feb 1999, Marilyn Traber wrote:

        > Given that oxen were used as dray animals, and the cows used for dairy
        > products, by the time it was economically useful to eat the beastie,
        > about the only way to really serve them would ne a sausage...the fatted
        > calf being a luxury item and the major populace being either
        > farmers[oxen and dairy] or city dwellers [wither the top 15% of the
        > totwal population being equites and senatorial the balance being the
        > plebes who were relaticvely poor and buying their foods from cook shope]
        > pig, goat and sheep would be the most common of food, so the roast of
        > adult beeves like we practice today isnt as likely as veal. margali
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