Diodes the Carystian, in his treatise on the Wholesomes, as it is entitled, says, “Of all salt-fish which are destitute of fat, the best is the horæum; and of all that are fat, the best is the tunny-fish.” But Icesius says, “that neither the pelamydes nor the horæa are easily secreted by the stomach; and that the younger tunnies are similar in most respects to the cybii, but that they have a great superiority over those which are called horæa.” And he says the same of the Byzantine horæa, in comparison with those which are caught in other places. And he says “that not only the tunnies, but that all other fish caught at Byzantium is superior to that which is caught elsewhere.” To this Daphnus the Ephesian added,—Archestratus, who sailed round the whole world for the sake of finding out what was good to eat, and what pleasures he could derive from the use of his inferior members, says—
And a large slice of fat Sicilian tunny,But that epicure Archestratus has omitted to enumerate the pickle-juice called elephantine, which is spoken of by Crates the comic poet, in his Samians; who says of it—
Carefully carved, should be immersed in brine.
But the saperdes is a worthless brute,
A delicacy fit for Ponticans
And those who like it. For few men can tell
How bad and void of strengthening qualities
Those viands are. The scombrus should be kept
Three days before you sprinkle it with salt,
Then let it lie half-pickled in the cask.
But when you come unto the sacred coast,
Where proud Byzantium commands the strait,
Then take a slice of delicate horeum,
For it is good and tender in those seas.
A sea-born turtle in the bitter wavesBut that the elephantine pickle of Crates was very celebrated Aristophanes bears witness, in his Thesmophoriazusæ, in these words— [p. 194]
Bears in its skin the elephantine pickle;
And crabs swift as the wind, and thin-wing'd pike,
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Sure comic poetry is a mighty food;
Listen to Crates, he will tell you, how
The elephantine pickle, easily made,
Is dainty seas'ning; many other jokes
Of the same kind he utter'd.