“The cabbage soup is very good today, my sweet!” said Sobakevich, having slurped up some soup and heaped on his plate an enormous piece of nyanya, a well-known dish served with cabbage soup, consisting of a sheep’s stomach stuffed with buckwheat groats, brains, and trotters. “Such nyanya you’ll never get in town,” he went on, addressing Chichikov, “they’ll serve you the devil knows what there!”
“The governor, however, keeps a rather good table,” said Chichikov.
“But do you know what it’s all made from? You wouldn’t eat it if you found out.”
“I don’t know how it’s prepared, I can’t judge about that, but the pork cutlets and poached fish were excellent.”
“It seemed so to you. I know what they buy at the market. That rascal of a cook, who learned from a Frenchman, buys a cat, skins it, and serves it instead of hare.”
“Pah! what an unpleasant thing to say,” said Sobakevich’s spouse.
“But, sweetie, that’s what they do, it’s not my fault, that’s what they all do. Whatever they’ve got that’s unusable, that our Akulka throws, if I may say so, into the pig bucket, they put into the soup! into the soup! right plop into it!”
“What things you’re always telling about at the table!” Sobakevich’s spouse objected again.
“But, my sweet,” said Sobakevich, “it’s not as if I were doing it myself, but I’ll tell you right to your face, I will not eat any vile-ness. No frog, even if it’s pasted all over with sugar, will ever go near my mouth, and no oyster either: I know what oysters are like. Take this lamb,” he went on, addressing Chichikov, “this is a rack of lamb with buckwheat groats! It’s not that fricassee they make in squires’ kitchens out of lamb that’s been lying around the marketplace for four days! It was German and French doctors who invented it all, I’d have the whole lot of them hung for it! They invented the diet, the hunger treatment! With their thin-boned German nature, they fancy they can take on the Russian stomach, too! No, it’s all wrong, all these inventions, it’s all…” Here Sobakevich even shook his head angrily. “They say: enlightenment, enlightenment, and this enlightenment—poof! I’d use another word, only it wouldn’t be proper at the table. With me it’s not like that. With me, if it’s pork—let’s have the whole pig on the table, if it’s lamb—drag in the whole sheep, if goose—the whole goose! Better that I eat just two courses, but eat my fill, as my soul demands.” Sobakevich confirmed this in action: he dumped half of the rack of lamb onto his own plate, ate it all up, gnawed it, and sucked it out to the last little bone.
—Gogol, Dead Souls
“the mincemeat is spoiled, the eel is boiled”
Pherecrates, in The Miners,36 has these lines: “There were close at hand, on platters, whole hams with shin and all, most tender, and trotters well boiled.” Alexis in The Dicers:37 “After we had just finished a luncheon from a bit of trotter.” So too, in The Vigil (or Toilers):38 “The meat is only half-done, the mincemeat is spoiled, Bthe eel is boiled, but the trotters are not yet ready.”
Pherecrates mentions boiled feet in The Slave-Teacher:39 A. ”Tell us how the dinner is progressing. — B. Well then, you are to have a piece of eel, a squid, some lamb, a slice of sausage, a boiled foot, a liver, a rib, a vast number of birds, cheese with honey sauce, and a portion of beef.” Antiphanes in The Parasite:40 “A. There are smoked pigs’ knuckles. — B. A nice luncheon, by the goddess of home! — A. Yes, and a lot of melted cheese was sizzling over them.” CEcphantides, in The Satyrs:41 “Whenever he had to buy and eat boiled pigs’ feet.”
from Donald Hall, “Eating the Pig”
I am drawn to him, my brother the pig,
or they will burst during roasting. So they hacked them out.