A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Would You Like Some Alligator with Your Hot Cross Buns? Traditional and Unique Lenten Fare

How many of these ten have you consumed during Lent?
1. Muskrat-- "Catholics living south of Detroit enjoy a longstanding informal dispensation to eat muskrat (the local pronunciation is MUSH-rat) on Fridays of Lent."

2. Pretzels-- "Pretzels crossed arms are said to have been inspired by a position of prayer popular among early medieval monastics in which both arms were crossed over one’s chest. Thus the Latin word for little arms, bracellae, became the German bretzel and in time the English pretzel."

3. Barnacle Goose-- "'Barnacle geese' were once believed to be spontaneously generated rather than born and so were viewed by some as an acceptable Lenten dish."

4. Capybara-- "Capybara, the largest member of the rodent family, are a popular lenten dish through much of South America."

5. Hot Cross Buns-- "A sweet, spiced bun made with currants or raisins, the hot cross bun is traditionally eaten on Good Friday. The cross etched over the bun’s top served to remind the hungry of Christ’s death and its spices of his entombment."

6. Beaver-- "In the 17th Century, the theologians at Paris’s Sorbonne-- the heirs of Abelard-- turned their minds to a question posed by Francois de Laval, first bishop of Quebec. He asked on behalf of his flock whether it was permissible to eat beaver meat during Lent. The ruling of Paris's theologians was yes...."

7. Simnel Cake-- "The fourth Sunday of Lent was once known as 'Mothering Sunday,' a day for servants to visit their parents, usually bearing simnel cakes. The confections—made of fine flour, sugar, and fruit—are bound in cloth, brushed with egg, and boiled before finally being baked. They are then adorned with eleven marzipan balls representing the eleven faithful disciples."

8. Alligator-- "Bishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans recently drew headlines for a 2010 letter confirming that 'the alligator is considered in the fish family' and thus suitable for consumption during Lent."

9. Rauchbier-- "Rauchbier, or “smoke beer,” is made using malts that have been dried over fire—thus gaining the smoky taste of cured meats like ham and bacon."

10. Skunk-Headed Coot-- "The legend of the barnacle goose gave rise to beliefs that a whole series of other birds were acceptable for lenten eating. The most widespread of these, the skunk-headed coot, shares with the barnacle goose a black and white appearance."
More details on "Ten Weird, Wonderful Foods for Lent," can be found here.

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