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Soup up.
December 14, 2010 12:19 PM   Subscribe

Should-we-eat-it-filter: A 2,400-year-old vat of soup has been discovered in China.

Archaeologists discovered the vessel, containing liquid and bones, in a tomb near the ancient capital of Xian. The bronze container is believed to have turned the soup green...although it seems like being unrefrigerated for 2,400 years could have contributed to that.
posted by jocelmeow (63 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'll get my spoon.
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:21 PM on December 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


inb4: Just zap it in the microwave for a few minutes.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:22 PM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


eww.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:22 PM on December 14, 2010


I guess, but you'd just be hungry again in 2,400 years.
posted by theodolite at 12:23 PM on December 14, 2010 [46 favorites]


I'd still taste it. Who knows. Maybe 2,400-year-old soup is delicious.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:23 PM on December 14, 2010


I'm gonna vote LET'S NOT EAT IT.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 12:24 PM on December 14, 2010


The Slow Food movement has gone too far.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:26 PM on December 14, 2010 [22 favorites]


The Twinkie that was buried next to it looked fine.
posted by mosk at 12:27 PM on December 14, 2010 [9 favorites]


Instant fun, just add Andrew Zimmern.
posted by griphus at 12:27 PM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


why wouldn't it have evaporated?
posted by empath at 12:29 PM on December 14, 2010


Don't eat it.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 12:30 PM on December 14, 2010


Instant fun, just add Andrew Zimmern.

I love Andrew Zimmern, but I hate the tagline of his show: "If it looks good, eat it!" So many of the things he eats on that show do not look good.
posted by infinitywaltz at 12:30 PM on December 14, 2010


@empath: First sentence contains the words "sealed in a bronze cooking vessel"
posted by pmbuko at 12:31 PM on December 14, 2010


China must have the shittiest roommate.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:32 PM on December 14, 2010 [31 favorites]


NO SOUP FOR YOU! COME BACK 2400 YEARS!
posted by bondcliff at 12:33 PM on December 14, 2010 [9 favorites]


Scientists were expected to conduct further tests to confirm the liquid was indeed soup...

I love the idea of a lab full of dozens of white-coated scientists working with beakers and pipettes and bunsen burners in order to identify whether a substance is, or ever has been, soup:

"Based on our calculations, we have determined this liquid has a 90% chance of being soup, 6% chance of stew, 3% chance of bisque and 1% chance of some other sort of hot, liquid food. Perhaps a pho of some sort."
posted by griphus at 12:33 PM on December 14, 2010 [29 favorites]


Maybe it's some animal that crawled into a vat of spices and died. The person who found it didn't want to deal with it so they sealed it up for somebody else to take care of. 2400 years later scientists think it's soup.

Do. Not. Eat.
posted by TooFewShoes at 12:37 PM on December 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


25 cents after successfully completing this dare is the only money I'd ever pay a "food critic" for their opinion.
posted by nameleech at 12:38 PM on December 14, 2010


Yes. Yes we should eat it!
posted by -harlequin- at 12:38 PM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


So many of the things he eats on that show do not look good.

This. One show he tried to eat this fermented tofu thing and he was a hairs breadth away from vomiting on-screen.

Still, the post is cool. I'm all over trying ancient Egyptian beer recipes from preserved grain, but the soup, not so much.

I love the idea of a lab full of dozens of white-coated scientists working with beakers and pipettes and bunsen burners in order to identify whether a substance is, or ever has been, soup:

"After extensive study, including blind taste tests, we have determined, with a 97.56% certainty, that it was, in fact, a chamber pot."
posted by elendil71 at 12:39 PM on December 14, 2010 [8 favorites]


StillTasty.com says that soup should have been thrown out 875,995 days ago, even if it had been refrigerated.
posted by mrsshotglass at 12:40 PM on December 14, 2010 [6 favorites]


I love the idea of a lab full of dozens of white-coated scientists working with beakers and pipettes and bunsen burners in order to identify whether a substance is, or ever has been, soup... until something goes horribly wrong. And now it is up to Dr. Emil Nitrate and his busty assistant Nurse Barium Lee Enema to stop their horrible creation before it is too late.

This summer gazpatcho is gonna gazgetyou.
posted by munchingzombie at 12:41 PM on December 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


containing liquid and bones,

Ew. That just reminds me when I was a kid in China and went on a field trip with my mom and some of her co-workers. One of her co-workers brought canned snake. When it was opened up, all that was inside was liquid and bones. Now, I eat and enjoy lots of stuff that's perhaps unusual for Western palates (century eggs, stinky tofu, chicken brains, etc), but that shit was gross.

Now I'm wondering how long that can had been sitting around. Maybe the guy had picked it up on a trip to Xi'an...
posted by kmz at 12:42 PM on December 14, 2010


That's some crazy 鹵水.
posted by juv3nal at 12:46 PM on December 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Maybe it's just like fine wine: it doesn't get older, it just gets better.
OR
Maybe it's not soup at all, it's a hiccuping solution that made Harry go "whoops".

Oh but what else could it be, Mr. Frankensteeen?
posted by mooselini at 12:48 PM on December 14, 2010


No, wait guys, that's mine! I'm doing a funny blog post about how bone soup gets moldy and green after 2,400 years but General Tso's Chicken doesn't change at all. Take that, General Tso!
posted by PlusDistance at 12:49 PM on December 14, 2010


I wonder how similar it is to what I ate for lunch today at Xi'an Famous Foods on East Broadway.

By the way, if you're in New York, like EVER, and you're wondering what to do for a meal, GO HERE. It's fucking fantastic and completely different from anything I'd ever before thought of as Chinese food.
posted by Jon_Evil at 12:49 PM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Needs a "ShouldIEatThis" tag. :D
posted by zarq at 12:53 PM on December 14, 2010


I'm having a bowl of soup as I read this. Coincidence??

Yes.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 1:03 PM on December 14, 2010


needs salt.
posted by dbiedny at 1:03 PM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Generally if your soup has turned green, be it from a mold or the copper oxidation, you should not eat it.

And whatever you do, do NOT microwave it in that pot.
posted by maryr at 1:10 PM on December 14, 2010


Is it ramen? If so, this may also be early evidence of higher education.
posted by brundlefly at 1:11 PM on December 14, 2010 [12 favorites]


Needs a "ShouldIEatThis" tag. :D

Done, zarq.

posted by jocelmeow at 1:11 PM on December 14, 2010


No photo of the soup?

Pics or I'm not eating it.
posted by eugenen at 1:14 PM on December 14, 2010


Done, zarq.

:D Thank you! :D
posted by zarq at 1:16 PM on December 14, 2010


Maybe it's people?

Or soup?

Or soup made of people? The options are limitless!
posted by Dark Messiah at 1:20 PM on December 14, 2010


We should call in an expert on these matters.
posted by JHarris at 1:23 PM on December 14, 2010


Re-Discovered?
Yes, I think it might have been Onomicritus' father Omnomnomicritus who actually first wrote about the 2400 year stew after a little known voyage to China years ago. :)
posted by infinite intimation at 1:26 PM on December 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


TooFewShoes: Maybe it's some animal that crawled into a vat of spices and died. The person who found it didn't want to deal with it so they sealed it up for somebody else to take care of. 2400 years later scientists think it's soup.

The positive aspect of reading this thread at 4:30 pm, when I usually want a snack, is that I now officially have no appetite.
posted by CharlieSue at 1:33 PM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


A 2,400 year old green liquid sealed in a bronze container surrounded by bones? And the scientists have opened it?

There is absolutely no way that this isn't some sort of demonic liquid monster/virus/ectoplasm. From a narrative standpoint, it is the only possible thing it could be. And now it's going to eat/infect/goo us all.

Damn. And I had my money on "meteor" for the end of the world. I never would have guessed "Nope, it's not soup!!"
posted by quin at 1:40 PM on December 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


It could be liquid shit in a chamberpot. After 2400 years shit and soup probably look the same.

Then again, eating it may give you superpowers!
posted by mr_book at 1:42 PM on December 14, 2010


I'd bet you could totally get high off that soup.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:48 PM on December 14, 2010


How does it smell?
posted by oddman at 1:49 PM on December 14, 2010


I swear to fucking god I would eat this, at least one spoonful, preferably heated. I love soup.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:53 PM on December 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Take that, General Tso!

Plus, this soup predates General Tso by over two thousand years, so it probably outranks him too. (Not his chicken -- him.)

Anyway, Quin is right. We better find a spunky young Chinese-American archaeologist with a bumbling yet hunky assistant soon, because she's the only one who'll be able to stop the string of mysterious killings soon to begin.
posted by No-sword at 2:07 PM on December 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


They should see if they can find the can. It's probably chicken and rice.
posted by doctor_negative at 2:16 PM on December 14, 2010


I've been making medieval pottage for the last few weeks, and very tasty it is too. It's all about (very) old skool eating these days.
posted by ciderwoman at 2:17 PM on December 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Five bucks says that the zombie apocalypse would begin with the eating of this soup.
posted by empatterson at 2:18 PM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do. Not. Eat.

Three simple words. Their brevity makes it clear, with hindsight, that they were wisdom, but we were hungry, hungry fools - too eager to crumble crackers into the mysterious broth, in our haste never pausing to wonder why the ancients had sealed it using their most powerful technology, their strongest alloys, then buried it deep within the earth, like nuclear waste.

My candle grows short, and its flickering light dim. Soon I will wait in the dark for them to come. I have seen the vats, brimming with limbs and garnished with spring onions. A final shot will ensure I shall not become one of the Eaters, but I have accepted that my body - my family's bodies, my wife, my children - will be found, and we will certainly be Eaten.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:18 PM on December 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


"It's bean soup!"

"Yeah, but what is it now?"
posted by Segundus at 2:34 PM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Please to be having 2000 Year Old Egg Drop Soup.
posted by Drasher at 2:36 PM on December 14, 2010


My candle grows short, and its flickering light dim. Soon I will wait in the dark for them to come. I have seen the vats, brimming with limbs and garnished with spring onions. A final shot will ensure I shall not become one of the Eaters, but I have accepted that my body - my family's bodies, my wife, my children - will be found, and we will certainly be Eaten.

"This is my pot. It was made for me."
posted by empath at 2:37 PM on December 14, 2010


From the article: The discovery will play an important role in studying the eating habits and culture of the Warring States Period

First guess: They liked soup
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 3:07 PM on December 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


There's a hilarious anecdote about a frozen Mastadon in The Gulag Archipelago.
posted by ovvl at 3:36 PM on December 14, 2010


"Archaeologists also dug up another bronze pot that contained an odourless liquid believed to be wine in the tomb"

Why wasn't the headline "A 2,400 year old jug of wine has been discovered in China?" They should sell it to somebody with more money than brains, and use the cash to finance more digs.
posted by longsleeves at 3:42 PM on December 14, 2010


It's green, right? ...soylent green?

I think Dark Messiah is onto something
posted by Hairy Lobster at 3:48 PM on December 14, 2010


Yes, but will it blend?!
posted by bwg at 4:39 PM on December 14, 2010


It could be liquid shit in a chamberpot. After 2400 years shit and soup probably look the same.

If you have bones in your poop, I would respectfully suggest that you either a) eat slower or b) seek medical attention.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:48 PM on December 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!
posted by liza at 5:13 PM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

Mm, Split Pea with Artifacts.
posted by theodolite at 5:43 PM on December 14, 2010


Don't worry, the green colour is just from oxidizing bronze. We can totally still have it for lunch tomorrow.
posted by equivocator at 8:57 PM on December 14, 2010


I'm betting Bronze Soup would be delicious if someone added a little Meat Shaped Stone and Jadeite Cabbage.
posted by Ahab at 12:14 AM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am amazed they opened that vessel in open air. I'd have wanted samples from before the air exposure. Maybe they'd have found interesting microbes, or worse, released dangerous ones.
posted by Goofyy at 3:40 AM on December 15, 2010


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