Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How to Use Bacon, c. 530

"The Little Hunt," Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina (4th c.)
"At this point I will explain how bacon may be eaten to the best effect... if it has been simply roasted in the same way as a joint of meat, the fat drains into the fire and the bacon becomes dry, and whoever eats it is harmed and not benefited; it also produces bad humors and causes indigestion. But if bacon that has been boiled and cooled is eaten, it is more beneficial... As for raw bacon which, so I hear, the Franks have a habit of eating... they are healthier than other people because of this food. Let me give a good example so that what I am writing may be believed: thick bacon, placed for a long time on all wounds, be they external or internal or caused by a blow, both cleanses any putrefaction and aids healing. Look at what power there is in raw bacon, and see how the Franks heal what doctors try to cure with drugs or with potions." 
Anthimus, On the Observance of Foods (c. 511-534)
Well, the bad news from Late Antiquity is that your crispy bacon is giving you bad humors. On the plus side, though, no medical treatment beats a bacon Band-Aid. Who needs emergency medical care when you've got raw bacon?


  1. He says more than once that the Franks are healthy because they eat raw bacon- but then later goes on to say that raw bacon is bad for you. :-) At any rate, it is not bacon as we know it. It was more likely something similar to our salt pork.

    In 2013 doctors in America used salt pork to stop a nose bleed that had not responded to any other treatment