Aged cheeses are prized for their mature flavor, but 2,000 years may be taking the aging process a little too seriously. On Friday, the Cavan County Museum in Ireland announced the discovery of a 22-pound (10-kilogram) mass of "bog butter" estimated to be around 2,000 years old. Bog butter is typically made from cow's milk and was historically stored in bogs for protection.
The museum notes bogs are wonderful places to store dairy items due to their "low temperature, low oxygen and highly acidic environment." The butter may have been tucked into the bog as a religious offering to spirits. It was considered a luxury item and was sometimes used as a form of payment.
According to Irish news site Breaking News, the bog butter smells like strong cheese. The dairy substance is now in the possession of the National Museum of Ireland for conservation and study. Andy Halpin from the National Museum says, "Theoretically the stuff is still edible but we wouldn't say it's advisable."