On the Discovery Docket – The Supersizers

by Katie Bowell, Curator of Cultural Interpretation

I don’t know about the rest of you, but over these next two weeks I’m going to be eating a lot of food. And while I’m definitely looking forward to all the delicious treats, I know I’ll to reach a saturation point where there’s no way more food can fit inside me. What will I do then? I’ll watch videos about other people eating food. Specifically, I’m going to be watching The Supersizers.

 

The Supersizers go Victorian

The Supersizers is a BBC television series in which the hosts, restaurant critic Giles Coren and comedian Sue Perkins, explore the dining habits of the last 2,000 years of (mostly) British history and eat what those people would have eaten.

This series, equal parts documentary, history lesson, comedy hour and cooking show, is fascinating. Even though the main focus of the show is British history, you’re also treated to other historic cuisines, including  Ancient Rome and Marie Antoinette’s Versailles. It’s amazing how drastically people’s diets have changed over the centuries, and how the definition of “edible” is much more subjective than you might first think.

How about a treacle tart filled with pickled mackerel and herring? Shakespeare was know to eat it. No? Alright then, what about the tongue of an ox in the amniotic sack of a calf? Really? They ate it all the time in 1660. My, you’re picky. Well, no one can say no to a nice piece of puma. What? Darwin loved it and said it tasted like veal.

Yep, those are frogs being put inside a pie

Sadly, the series isn’t readily available in the US, but you can watch all of the episodes on The Supersizers’ YouTube Channel.

History has never been so delicious…or, in the case of the boiled sheep’s head with sheep’s brains in butter from the Victorian episode, so…um…not. Bon appetite!

Are any of you trying new foods this holiday season?

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