The ancients used food calculated to provoke the appetite, as for instance salt olives, which they call colymbades: and accordingly Aristophanes says, in his Old Age—
Old man, do you like flabby courtesans,And Philemon, in his Follower, or Sauce, says—
Or tender maidens, firm as well-cured olives?
A. What did you think, I pray, of that boiled fish?They also eat common grasshoppers and the monkey grasshopper as procreatives of the appetite. Aristophanes says, in his Anagyrus—
B. He was but small; do'st hear me? And the pickle
Was white, and much too thick; there was no smell
Of any spice or seasoning at all,
So that the guests cried out,—How pure your brine is!
How can you, in God's name, like grasshoppers,But the cercope is a little animal like a grasshopper or prickly roach, as Speusippus tells us in the fourth book of his Similitudes; and Epilycus mentions them in his Coraliscus. And Alexis says in his Thrason—
Catching them with a reed, and cercopes?1
I never saw, not even a cercopeAnd Nicostratus says, in his Abra—
A greater chatterer than you, O woman,
Nor jay, or nightingale, or dove, or grasshopper.
The first, a mighty dish shall lead the way,
Holding an urchin, and some sauce and capers,
A cheesecake, fish, and onions in rich stuffing.