How does one eat wild boar, feudal style?

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?

You’d carve pieces off and serve them. The head probably ended up as head cheese.

Actually, they sometimes used to serve up just the boar’s head. It was a Christmas tradition. There is even a song about it. And here is a picture.

I guess there is enough meat on it to make it worthwhile.

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”).

I’m thinking that the meat may have been rather stong and was probably served with a tart relish of dried fruit or root vegetables, saurkraut, something of that nature.

I thought the droit du seigneur was the (urban legend) right of a lord to have sex with the wife of a man who’s newly married.


The name of the pic aside, AFAIK that’s a pig.

A boar is a boy pig.

For what it’s worth,

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)

Wild Boar and domestic pig are different sorts of animals, regardless of sex.


Pigs are domesticated Wild Boars.

Wheat is just domesticated grass.

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.

Moving to Cafe Society from GQ.

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I make a mean *fake *boar’s head for Yule - basically a shaped meatloaf, with turnip tusks, an apple in the mouth and olives for eyes. We sing it in with the Boar’s Head Carol **njtt **linked to.

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