A forgotten delicacy.
Romans loved the taste of dormice (Glis glis, of the rodent family). The dormouse is a beautiful animal (12 - 19 cm, with a 15 cm tail), valued by us for its beautiful fur, currently under protection, residing in deciduous and mixed forests, feeding predominantly on fruits, seeds and insects.
For the Romans, the greatest delicacy was dormice dipped in honey and sprinkled with poppy seeds. The
dormice traveled to England together with the Roman Legionnaires, but when the fashion for
dormice was over, they did not manage to thrive in the wild.
They also did not become a domestic animal, although they were often kept in houses, in quite a perculiar and specific way. After the animal was captured, it was placed in a ceramic container, made especially for this purpose, with perforated walls. The animal was then intensively fed with chestnuts and fruits. It was kept in complete darkeness, and out of boredom, the dormice ate constantly, until they were too fat to be removed from the container, which then had to be broken to release them. It was then time for a feast.
The fatter the dormice, the better they tasted, and they were usually eaten in a single bite.
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