The ancient Romans thought dormice made fine little appetizers. On page 301 of my novel, Cleopatra Selene watches Maecenas pop “a tiny roasted dormouse whole into his mouth and crunch the tiny bones with relish…He gave me a sly look as he licked the honey off his fingers.”
Dormice were farmed in large pits or terra cotta containers. The Romans liked their tiny rodents rolled in honey and poppy seeds, then roasted to perfection. They often served them along with sizzling sausages over plums and pomegranate seeds.
The video of the snoring dormouse (found here–totally adorable) making the internet rounds made me think of the Romans’ strange tastes. But it also got me wondering–did they eat the fur too? Along with the tail? And those adorable little ears?
Fortunately, the Romans also loved cake. Lots and lots of cake. Made with cheese. Cheesecake. Thanks the gods for cheesecake.