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9711.  Wed Oct 27, 2004 2:44 pm Reply with quote

Isn't a donkey an ass? Well clearly I'm one because I thought it was Bible-speak for donkey, like thou is for you. And like feet is for the a boy's thingy - 'and she uncovered his feet' which invariably unleashed hysterical tittering from the back row.

Re-Saqqara - I've never come across that, merely confirming you're better read than I. But do you remember any more details about it? I can email Bob B, or do you have an in to Stephen B? Otherwise I do, but it's been a while.

9714.  Wed Oct 27, 2004 5:27 pm Reply with quote

Welcome back, Ms C.

I was hoping that Fred and Jack could fight this one out amongst themselves. Don't spoil it, some of us have wagers running.

Frederick The Monk
9725.  Thu Oct 28, 2004 5:05 am Reply with quote

Re-Saqqara - I've never come across that,

I was referring to the tomb of Nefer near the Unas pyramid complex but you've sowed a seed of doubt and now I'm not so sure. The problem is I can't a straight answer from anyone as to whether there is a definitive word in Egyptian for cheese.

I've just read at that was no Egyptian word for cheese and that Pliny states that Egyptians didn't make the stuff. Obviously Pliny wouldn't have had much idea about what was going on back in the Old Kingdom but it's an interesting point. It feels to me like Egyptologists are possibly jumping to conclusions and saying that becuase there is evidence for dairy production there must be cheese.

Might have to go and have a bit of cheese and think about it.........

9727.  Thu Oct 28, 2004 8:07 am Reply with quote

Well it's Biblical innit - I mean, 'Blessed are the cheesemakers', although he obviously meant that to extend to manufacturers of all dairy products.

9728.  Thu Oct 28, 2004 8:21 am Reply with quote

Actually it is Biblical, really, but there are only three references in the Bible and all of them are in the Old Testament. For some strange reason, Monty Python appears to have got it wrong on this one

First Book of Samuel:

17:17 And Jesse said unto David his son, Take now for thy brethren an
ephah of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp
of thy brethren; 17:18 And carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of
their thousand, and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge.

Second Book of Samuel:

17:27 And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi
the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the
son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim,
17:28 Brought beds, and basons, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and
barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentiles, and
parched pulse, 17:29 And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of
, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for
they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the

The Book of Job:

10:10 Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese?

9729.  Thu Oct 28, 2004 8:23 am Reply with quote

So did Jesus eat cheese? He didn't mention it if so. It would have been easier to feed the five thousand without having to cook the fish.

10043.  Thu Nov 04, 2004 9:34 am Reply with quote

Cheese-eating surrender monkeys

The phrase comes from a Simpsons episode, "Round Springfield", first aired on April 30 1995; in it the local school, Springfield Elementary, has succumbed to budget cuts. Lunch Lady Doris states, "they've even got Groundskeeper Willie teaching French". The next shot is of Willie as a teacher, saying " 'bonjourrr', you cheese-eating surrender monkeys!". The character of Groundskeeper Willie is a Scottish immigrant known for his grumpiness and particular animosity towards the French. His attempt to speak French with an extremely heavy accent provides much of the comedy in the scene. In context, the phrase reflects British sentiment towards the French as much as it does American.
The line was first picked up and used predominently by conservative and Republican American politicians and publications. They were led, according to the Guardian, by Jonah Goldberg, a columnist for the conservative weekly National Review.
The phrase translates into French as singes capitulards bouffeurs de fromages.

s: Wikipedia

11289.  Fri Nov 26, 2004 4:43 pm Reply with quote

Some QI bits of information on this Guardian quiz about cheese:,5961,1360601,00.html

11292.  Fri Nov 26, 2004 9:02 pm Reply with quote

In defence of some of my posts, mercilessly trashed by Fred the Monk a month or so ago, I've no idea whether these things are true but the following at least comes from an unimpeachable source, viz:


Cheese has been made for at least 5000 years and was certainly eaten by the Sumerians and the ancient Egyptians.

Traces of actual cheese have been found in an Eygptian tomb dated at 3000 BC, but cave-paintings in the Libyan Sahara from 5000BC also show what may possibly be cheese-making.

s: The Oxford Companion to Food by Alan Davidson (OUP, 1999) p.159

11293.  Fri Nov 26, 2004 9:13 pm Reply with quote


Ciggywink is correct a donkey and an ass are the same thing.

My source here was 'History of Food' by Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat (tr. Anthea Bell) (Blackwell Reference, 1999).

The quote (from p. 118) is as follows:

However, so far as anyone knows, cheese has never been made with ass's milk

11294.  Fri Nov 26, 2004 9:16 pm Reply with quote

If these assertions are wrong, my humblest apologies – I have been grievously misled by charlatans posing as scholars.

11295.  Fri Nov 26, 2004 9:30 pm Reply with quote

So I looked up Aristotle's "History of Animals' as advised by the Blessed Fred and found this quote:

Mare’s milk, by the way, and milk of the she-ass are mixed in with Phrygian cheese.

I found that here:

In the same excerpt was this:

With some men, after puberty, milk can be produced by squeezing the breasts; cases have been known where on their being subjected to a prolonged milking process a considerable quantity of milk has been educed.

Bloke-cheese on toast, anyone?

11464.  Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:38 pm Reply with quote

So did Jesus eat cheese?
Yes - he ran a small shop for a while before he became a carpenter. It was called Cheeses of Nazareth.

*watches for thunderbolts*

11486.  Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:54 pm Reply with quote

These thunderbolts... are they what the French call Caprices des Dieux?

Old Bailey
15931.  Tue Mar 08, 2005 9:01 am Reply with quote

When faced with the fast approaching Great Fire in 1666, Samuel Pepys rushed out to his garden, dug a big hole and buried his favourite cheese, to save it from destruction.


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