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Bear Paw: It's What (Was) For Dinner

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A mortar and pestle from 7000 BCE, Neolithic Pottery, a jade teapot, and a recipe for bear paw from the Shang dynasty (1570 to 1045 B.C.). Wait, what? Yes, you read that correctly. The aforementioned artifacts were all part of a traveling exhibit on ancient Chinese cuisine, recently shown in Paris.


According to of The New York Times, it was during the height of the Shang dynasty that meat was classified as a delicacy -- and what better way to prepare meat than with the following recipe? "1 bear paw, 2 ounces of honey, 1 teaspoon of salt, 20 ounces of chicken broth, 1/3 ounce of ginger and 7 ounces of grain alcohol." The best part? According to the author, the recipe clearly stated that bear paw must become rancid for 1-2 years before it's prepared. Aha! Now it all makes sense.

Chinese Bear Paws Tickle the French from The New York Times