Courtesy of Museum Silkeborg, Denmark
Adam Campbell-Schmitt
June 22, 2017

The culinary arts were born the moment humans harnessed the power of fire the cook their food. But like all nascent chefs, they also probably f*cked up a lot. Now we have proof their our ancestors weren’t always the experts our rose-tinted view of history portrays them to be. A discovery near Silkeborg, Denmark has given us proof that epic kitchen fails are certainly nothing new. A 3,000 year old clay cooking vessel was recently unearthed and upon further inspection it was found to contain a unique attribute: burnt cheese.

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"It's a glassy, foamy substance, a lot like when you've had a fire and the ashes have been burning so hot that they sometimes cinder together, forming a crumpy texture," Kaj F. Rasmussen, head archaeologist from Silkeborg Museum told NPR’s The Salt. "It seems to be related to myseost from Norway, a brown whey cheese." (Bonus, they also discovered the perfect use of the word “crumpy!”) The organic matter was well-preserved due to the pot being buried in clay and, quite possibly, even due to the stomach bacteria of the cow who produced it. So how did it this pot remain intact? “My guess is that that this vessel was smoking and stinking the place up, so somebody had to get rid of it. The easiest way was to carry it outside and deposit it upside down in the pit and then cover it — done with that, no more messy kitchen!" Rasumussen said. Ruining a pot of mac ’n cheese so badly you toss the cookware out the window? Been there…

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