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Archaeology & History

2,000-year-old 'bog butter' is still edible

By T.K. Randall
June 17, 2016 · Comment icon 11 comments

Would you sample a lump of 2,000-year-old butter fished out of a bog ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Amos
A large 20-pound chunk of ancient butter has been retrieved from a peat bog by a farmer in Ireland.
The unappetizing discovery was made back at the beginning of June in Emlagh Bog, County Meath by Jack Conway while he was extracting some of the peat to use as fuel.

Known as 'bog butter', the rugby-ball shaped mass of dairy produce was in remarkable condition considering that it had been buried at the bottom of a swamp for over 2,000 years.

In ancient and early medieval Ireland butter was considered to be something of a luxury and peat bogs were used as a way to store it thanks to their low temperatures and oxygen content.

In this particular case however the butter hadn't been buried inside a container or keg which suggests that it may have actually been intended as some sort of offering to the gods.

According to Andy Halpin of the National Museum of Ireland the bog butter may even still be edible, but given its extreme age it is probably not a good idea to try eating any of it.

Source: Fox News | Comments (11)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by seaturtlehorsesnake 6 years ago
theoretically edible is the best kind of edible!
Comment icon #3 Posted by MisterMan 6 years ago
Gotta love misleading headlines:  "2,000-year-old 'bog butter' is still edible" Last paragraph:  "According to Andy Halpin of the National Museum of Ireland the bog butter may even still be edible, but given its extreme age it is probably not a good idea to try eating any of it."
Comment icon #4 Posted by hetrodoxly 6 years ago
" Ancient butter expert" that sounds like a very limit field 
Comment icon #5 Posted by Hawkin 6 years ago
Kerrygold is capitalizing on it.
Comment icon #6 Posted by grimsituation6 6 years ago
So Dart Frogs are edible as well by this logic. Bullets are edible, just the round not the entire casing, although the bullet powder inside the casing is considered a delicacy in some cultures and is edible as well.
Comment icon #7 Posted by grimsituation6 6 years ago
This butter will probably do less damage eating then many modern butter substitutes. "Ican'tbelieveitsnotafossil" brand
Comment icon #8 Posted by grimsituation6 6 years ago
Thats why they get payed so much. Your average commercial butter expert can rake in quite the salary, salted butter experts even more, but an ancient butter expert is quite rare.
Comment icon #9 Posted by grimsituation6 6 years ago
Lakeside Farms University
Comment icon #10 Posted by Leonardo 6 years ago
These stupid scientists. The ancient Irish obviously buried this in a bog to protect the world from it, now it's been released from it's boggy prison and will grow, devouring all of us within it's well-matured, high-calorie embrace!
Comment icon #11 Posted by paperdyer 6 years ago
Maybe the Irish drank all that whiskey to kill the taste of the butter and anything growing in it.

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