Pig roasts are often used for weddings and other special celebrations, but have you ever wondered where this tradition came from? Pig roasts actually have a long history that dates back to the Bronze Age.
Pig Roasts Of The Bronze Age
The bronze age of history is when certain metals were first discovered including bronze. With the discovery of these metals, there was a rush to use them in different aspects of life including cooking. This is potentially when pig roasts as we know them today might have started. The problem with this is the fact that there are no documented records of the roasting of pigs during this time.
The Middle Ages
By the time the Middle Ages came around, hog roasts were in fashion. This meant that every kitchen in the Western World had their own version of a spit roast. The spit roast allowed the hog to the skewered on a heavy iron bar which was then suspended over an open fire. The hog would then be slowly roasted over a few hours.
Castle kitchens at this time would generally have a someone whose only job would be to roast the hog. They would generally have to slowly crank the pit by hand. The kitchen chef would be the one to add spices to the roast and baste it.
The Renaissance is when causes really started to gain popularity with hog roasting. The Renaissance was not only about art as many chefs started to change recipes. In Florence, the chefs started to baste hog roasts with sugar and orange juice.
After The Renaissance
As kitchens continued to evolve and started to look more like the ones we have today, the idea of roasting an entire hog lost favour. The kitchen became smaller and there was no longer the space for an open hearth which was needed for hog roasting. At this time, butchers started to cut up the hogs into easier to manage pieces which could be made in the smaller kitchens.
By the 1700’s hog roasting was no longer commonplace. Hog roasting was kept for special occasions and would generally be done outside the home.
Hog Roasts Around The World
Hog roasts are not something that is unique to a certain area. The history of these roasts does vary depending on the country. The Pacific Islands have their own way of roasting pigs which involves lining a pit with heated lava rocks and wrapping the seasoned pig in banana leaves.
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