A 2,000-year-old lump of butter was recently discovered in County Meath, Ireland, and experts report that the creamy dairy product is likely still edible.
According to Opposing Views, the butter, or “bog butter” as it is known, weighs a full 22 pounds and was found by Jack Conway in Emlagh bog during the week of May 30. While it is unknown exactly how the butter ended up in the bog, experts hypothesize that it was left as an offering to the gods some 2,000 years ago. Apparently, butter was highly prized in ancient times, and the curator of the Cavan County Museum, Savina Donohoe, reports that the bog butter is a “unique find.”
Luckily, despite the fact that it may seem untenable that such a large quantity of butter could remain buried and unspoiled for 2,000 years, the dairy product’s location offers a clue to its mysterious history. Not only was the butter buried 12 feet underground, but it was also placed in a treacherous bog on the edge of many political boundaries. According to The Irish Times, Andy Halpin, assistant keeper in Irish Antiquities at Ireland’s National Museum, said, "These bogs in those times were inaccessible, mysterious places. [The bog butter] is at the juncture of three separate kingdoms, and politically it was like a no-man’s-land -- that is where it all hangs together."
Before you grab a slice of toast and book a flight to Ireland, however, we have some bad news for anyone hoping to sample the dairy product. According to Halpin, it might not be the best idea to actually try the butter. The museum expert says the despite the fact that the bog butter is still "theoretically” edible, “we wouldn’t say it’s advisable." Even more worrisome, the ancient bog butter is being placed in a refrigerated case at the National Museum, rendering it all but inaccessible to the world’s dairy lovers. If you’re not a world-class jewel thief with expertise in museum break-ins, we suggest that you try modern Irish butter—it’s not only incredibly creamy, but also a couple thousand years fresher than the real bog butter!