According to Johnston’s Private Life of the Romans,
Wild animals also were bred for food in similar preserves; the hare and the wild boar were the favorite. The latter was served whole upon the table, as in feudal times
Ok, now I remember the whole boar being served. But how do you actually EAT IT? Does someone carve it on the spot? What happens to the head? Was there some kind of special boar carver in castles and roman estates?
Also, the Lord of the Manor got a portion (that’s where we get our expression “get a cut of”). Most commonly this came from the right side of the pig, which was more tender due to the clockwise motion encouraged by the layout of the preserves. Thus, this was referred to as droit du seigneur (“right of the lord”).
In this part of the world pig is spit roasted whole, then carved on the spot and served.
Especially at Chinese New Year Gatherings its not uncommon to see the pig being roasted over open coals to be served later. And to watch the caterer carve it with cleavers into bit sized morsels (cubes I guess would be how I would describe them)
Pigs are domesticated descendants of wild pig species, for sure, but they’re different enough to make the naming distinction important. And the wild ones in question are called Wild Boar regardless of whether they’re male or female.
(In exactly the same way as ‘dog’ means the species, or a male example of the species)
Indeed—eating the heads of animals is actually quite common in the cuisine of many regions. Icelandic svið, for example, is nothing but singed and boiled sheep’s heads. I wouldn’t say that there’s an awful lot of meat on it, but it’s certainly enough for half a head, with a couple sides of vegetables, to make a filling meal for one person. Most of the meat is in the cheek and tongue; the skin, lips, nose, and eyeballs are also eaten, and there’s also a lot of fat at the back of the head and around the neck. (The brain is usually removed before cooking.)
For the curious, there are some before and after pictures of svið from my trip to Iceland a few weeks ago: see the food album, second row.
I’ve never eaten pork heads straight, though I have made soup from them.