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The people of Delos were the first to cram poultry; and it is with them that originated that abominable mania for devouring fattened birds, larded with the grease of their own bodies. I find in the ancient sumptuary regulations as to banquets, that this was forbidden for the first time by a law of the consul Caius Fannius, eleven years before the Third Punic War; by which it was ordered that no bird should be served at table beyond a single pullet, and that not fattened; an article which has since made its appearance in all the sumptuary1 laws. A method, however, has been devised of evading it, by feeding poultry upon food that has been soaked in milk: prepared in this fashion, they are considered even still more delicate. All pullets, however, are not looked upon as equally good for the purposes of fattening, and only those are selected which have a fatty skin about the neck. Then, too, come all the arts of the kitchen-that the thighs may have a nice plump appearance, that the bird may be properly divided down the back, and that poultry may be brought to such a size that a single leg shall fill a whole platter.2 The Parthians, too, have taught their fashions to our cooks; and yet after all, in spite of their refinements in luxury, no article is found to please equally in every part, for in one it is the thigh, and in another the breast only, that is esteemed.

1 Those called Orchia, Didia, Oppia, Cornelia, Antia, and Julianamely.

2 Repositoria. See B. xxxiii. c. 49. See also B. ix. c. 13.

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