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Food Science: Dinosaurs Had Gratin Dishes!

The science of food paleontology was born yesterday, with Karen Miltner of the Gannett News Service as its founder.

I was reading through yesterday’s paper over coffee this morning – I’m perpetually behind, you see – when I came across an article about shirring. I had no idea what shirring is, but after reading the first paragraph of the story, now I know. It’s a technique of cooking eggs the dinosaurs invented millions of years ago. I swear this is true. Read for yourself (emphasis mine):

“Shirring – an old fashioned technique for preparing eggs, has probably been around as long as eggs and fire. The method calls for baking shelled, unbeaten eggs in a buttered ramekin or gratin dish just until set.”

This is just amazing! I need to get my information from newspapers more often – they’re so, so, so much more reliable than all us Internet publishing trolls.

See, if shirring is as old as fire and eggs, well then shirring has to go back at least as far as the dinosaurs. I found out in school that the dinosaurs mostly laid eggs instead of giving birth to live young. And, as we all know, there were lots of volcanoes starting fires in the days of the dinosaurs. So, if Karen Miltner is correct, the dinosaurs probably invented shirring.

What’s more, as Karen Miltner’s brilliant research suggests, dinosaurs almost certainly had gratin dishes or buttered ramekins. I have no idea what a buttered ramekin, but I’m still impressed. I mean, if the dinosaurs could have had buttered ramekins, they could have had DVD players, which means that we’re all missing out on millions of years worth of reruns.

Dig another layer down into this brilliant piece of investigative journalism, and you’ll see that we also have proof here that the dinosaurs were dairy farmers. See, if they were shirring, then they must have used either buttered ramekins or gratin dishes. Buttered ramekins needed butter, which comes from cows, and as everyone knows, an au gratin dish has cheese in it, and cheese comes from cows too. This means that cheddar probably predates the evolution of primates!

This one story, written with dedicated journalistic discipline, gives us a radical reinterpretation of dinosaur society – unless Karen Miltner just got it wrong, and shirring has not been around as long as eggs and fire. Oh, but that isn’t possible, is it? I mean, after all, she writes for newspapers, which as we all know, are much much much, oh ever so muchly, more reliable than online sources of information like blogs. It’s just got to be the truth, right?

3 comments to Food Science: Dinosaurs Had Gratin Dishes!

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