We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I was cleaning up this weekend and emptied out a backpack to find notes I'd written a year ago about topics of interest to me. While I traveled through Austria and the Czech Republic, the extended family took meals together and whenever something caught my ear, I'd write it down. One such topic was 'bog butter' - something I'd heard of, but knew little about.
The thought of it makes me wish to know as little as possible, in some ways. Yet it turns out to be an intriguing topic. We are all probably familiar with the remarkable capacity of peat to preserve just about anything. Peat has properties of preservation which are rather astounding. Apparently, old societies used peat to preserve their butter and occasionally forgot about it, lost it, or left it behind. Which means some archaeologists or bog workers are the lucky recipients of free butter. If they're willing to try it.
Its quality varies based on the kind of peat, how long it's been sitting, and what it's made of. I was told by someone who has seen some that it smells like old shoes, which may not make it the most appetizing of condiments. However, perhaps a better description is 'strong cheese'. I'm still not trying it, even if it is edible.
While these random finds are of little culinary value, they do provide insight into techniques of ancient food preparation and management. It has been noted that butter was a bit of a luxury, but was used for more than just food. It was also used to pay taxes, rents, fines and provide hospitality as well as helping out with healing. The quality of the butter would be an indicator of socio-economic status.
As for me, I'll stick with my Land O' Lakes, salted. Refrigerated, not stored in peat.
When I was a teenager I had a job digging peat moss with a loader. One day I unknowingly dropped a tuna sandwich wrapped in Saran wrap into the bog. The next season I dug it up. Looked good and tasted good.