Meat Mummies

Hot dogs are always a big hit with baseball fans. Getting a good deal is even better. In 2013, the Cleveland Indians increased the number of Dollar Dog Days by 66 percent over 2012’s schedule. Fans responded, and Terry Francona was named American League Manager of the Year.

Coincidence? I think not.

Ancient Egyptians also had a passion for preserved meat—to the point of making meat mummies. Normal folk would’t get them, of course. Nonetheless, meat mummies were part of the afterlife pantry supplies for pharoahs or others who could afford the pricy mummification process.

What was in those meat mummies? There’s no Nutrition Facts label like you’d find on a package of hot dogs like those served at baseball games or barbecues. Nonetheless, scientists at the University of Bristol and American University in Cairo have completed a chemical analysis of a few tombs’ meaty tidbits. Their report appears in this week’s early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Our findings show that the Ancient Egyptians prepared the food offerings they made to their dead using preservation techniques at least as exotic as those used in embalming human and animal mummies,” write authors Katherine A. Clark, Salima Ikram, and Richard Evershed.

DSCN2981Mummified meats were pretty upscale, too. The scientists analyzed beef ribs, calf victuals and duck. Another meat mummy is believed to have been goat. “”The poultry looks like you’ve just gone to Safeway and bought a roast bird,” Ikram told NBC News. “And they’re almost 4,000 years old.”

I wonder how hot dogs would stand up to the test of time. Probably not as well as Twinkies, I’d guess.


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