So good they hunted it twice

I was in the British Museum when I noticed this mosaic pavement showing a Wild Boar being confronted by a hunting dog. It’s from the 5th or 6th Century and was in Carthage, a place which is now in Tunisia.

Wild Boar - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Wild Boar are impressive beasts. I saw some recently in Italy:

What struck me about the mosaic was just how prominent the boar’s testicles are (yes, do scroll back and look). Boar’s testicles are a real problem if you intend to hunt and eat Wild Boar. Their presence means the meat smells bad when cooking and it tastes of urine. For centuries people have castrated male pigs to stop this boar taint affecting the pork and have done it without anaesthetic or analgesics. It makes me wince just thinking about it.

In some places where Wild Boar are hunted, the males are hunted once to castrate them, let loose so their hormones change, and the ‘taint’ decreases, and then hunted again. Twice-hunted pork: twice unlucky for the boar.

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