Finding buried treasure is everyones dream but for Jack Conway, a turf cutter from Emlagh bog in County Mesth, Ireland, his find is a bit weird. He was chopping turf at the bog when he came across a 22-pound chunk of butter at the beginning of June.
Researchers at the Cavan Museum estimated it to be more than 2,000 years old and believe:
‘Theoretically the stuff is still edible, but we wouldn’t say it’s advisable’
Bog butter is just that: butter made from cow’s milk that’s been buried in a bog, though, after thousands of years, it often has the consistency of cheese.
No one is sure exactly why the butter was buried in bogs - some think it was sometimes an offering to the gods - but evidence strongly suggests it was a method of preservation.
Most bog butter doesn’t contain salt, which was often used as a means of preserving food before modern refrigeration. The bogs, which are essentially cold-water swamps, and their native peat do a fine job keeping food fresh. A University of Michigan researcher found that meat left in a bog for two years was just as preserved as meat kept in his freezer, the University Record reported in 1995.