Thursday, August 21, 2008

Famous Banquets


The hog played an important part in Roman civilization, and it had its influence on religion, too, in another corner of the world, for Buddha died of an overfeed of dried boar's flesh. In recent times there has been more hog at the table than upon it.

Perhaps the best livers of olden times were the French noblemen of the middle ages. The modern world has never seen such luxuries and extravagance as attended the banquet of the pheasant, given by Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, when he was striving to organize a crusade against the Turks.

Lucullus' famous banquets were a mere bagatelle to the dinners given by Vitellius. This glutton of proverbial memory spent nearly $10,000 a day, or its equivalent in denari, upon his eating, and it was not uncommon for him to give a little feast that cost $60,000. At one of those there was served a golden bowlful of peacocks' brains. Another dish was made of tongues of the flamingo, a very rare morsel. To procure those dainties it was necessary to send several ships to the strait of Gibraltar and companies of hunters to the mountains of Krapacks. — New York Press.

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