Few peoples famed through history for cuisine
admit to menus featuring the cat.
Are Archestratus and I being mean
when we allude that you’ve been doing that?
‘I served you hare!’ you say. It was a bit
overdone at centre, and as shellacked with ‘cheese
and lees, and dregs of oil,’ as Classic Lit.
has taught us he recorded. And the knees
of the beast you served us bent not like a hare’s.
What game was up and hanging in your snares?
Reflecting on the poem HARE on Archestratus (4th century BCE) who was known, some say, as the Daedalus of tasty dishes, and who may have written the world’s first cookbook. In HARE he wrote, ‘… All other ways [of cooking hare] / Are quite superfluous, such as when cooks pour / A lot of sticky clammy sauce upon it, / Paring of cheese, and lees, and dregs of oil, / As if they were preparing cat’s meat.’