Friday, May 11, 2012

Homebaked Shakespeare

Thanks to Dianne Berg, Elizaveganist extraordinaire, for calling our attention to the recent exciting discovery, published in the National Geographic Daily News,  that guinea pigs were 16th-century European pets. Renaissance-era remains of a domesticated piggie were found in a Belgian backyard.

I grew up with guinea pigs, recently had a backyard piggie burial, and now Michelle has taken the cavy plunge, so this is big news for us over at everydayshakespeare.

Sadly (especially for Dianne), the article also reveals evidence that  Renaissance folk liked to eat their pets as well as cuddle and paint them (as the 1615 painting below by Jan Brueghel the Elder shows):

"In fact, Pigière and colleagues found one historical reference that Europeans ate guinea pigs in a 1563 book written by French agronomist O. de Serres.

De Serres wrote that it was 'necessary to have some spices to improve the flavor of guinea pig meat,' Pigière said."
I won't sully the memories of Rainbow (R.I.P. 1978 --cause of death: overheating in car while my parents took us shopping at the L.L. Bean outlet in Freeport) and Blackberry (R.I.P. 2011—death by old age) by hunting down a spicy piggie recipe for this week's Homebaked Shakespeare. 
Sleep tight, little cavies everywhere.


  1. Happy to oblige! Maybe I should consider veganizing an early modern recipe for guinea pig...or not.

  2. Cool picture. Guinea pigs in Eden!