IV Ways To Sauté a Sow’s Vulva

If Roman Cookbook Author Apicius Had A Blog, With Comments

Photo by Jan Kleinert on Unsplash, adapted
Editor’s Note: all recipes adapted from Apicius, De Re Coquinaria, VII.251–256

Disclaimer: this blog post is sponsored by the Collegium of Slaughterers

Salvete Amiciiiiiiiii,

Who doesn’t love sow’s vulvae? If you find yourself with a surplus of these luscious, porky nether lips, and aren’t sure how to serve them, look no further! Today, I’m bringing you four variations (plus a bonus recipe for grilled sow’s womb). Enjoy!

I. Sterile Vulva, Prepared Simply

3 finger pinch of asafoetida, vinegar, and broth to taste

II. Spiced Up Vulva Soup

Simmer with pepper, celery seed, dry mint, laser root, honey, vinegar and broth.

III. A Totally Different Way To Sauté Sterile Sow’s Vulva:

With pepper, broth and Parthian silphium.

IV. A Fourth Recipe

With pepper, lovage and broth and a little condiment.

Bonus Recipe: Pan-fried and Brined Sow’s Womb

I know most people like their sow’s womb brined in buttermilk and then deep fried, but I like to mix things up, and coat it in bran or bread crumbs and fry for 1/4 of an hour before I soak it in pickling juice. The breaded womb is then porous and spongy, soaking up all of that salty goodness. This makes everything extra juicy and soggy, just like a good womb should be.

Reader Comments and Questions

Marcia252: Another great post, Apicius! One question: you call for “sow’s vulva” but I only have cow vagina—is that an OC substitute?

JustAGaius: It’s vulva not vagina

APICIUS (ADMIN): Hi Marcia, you might need to scale up the other ingredients and the cooking time, to make up for the size difference. It will also be a beefier vulva, but some people like the taste! Let us know how it goes.

Manius: Oh my gosh, can everyone just stop already with the vagina/vulva thing? Just eat your Boar’s labia and who cares what it’s called?

JustAGaius: ahem, *sow’s* labia

CunningHistoricalLinguist: well actually, the dictionary says that “vulva” indicates neither labia nor external genitalia. For it to mean “external genitalia” we’d have to be several thousand years in the future. When Apicius says “vulvae steriles” he means these are recipes for the matrix (sometimes also the udder and belly) of a female adult pig who has never given birth. In any case, this conversation raises some interesting questions regarding the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis — if we have the word “vulva,” but no concept of *a vulva* … does it even exist?

That’sTheJoke: Dude this is a cooking blog, get over yourself. Besides, everyone knows the dictionary is ficti annales!

Marcia252: Hi everyone! I did make the dish with cow but it was a bit too piquant for our tastes. I’ll definitely stick to sow from here on out—just because something rhymes doesn’t mean you can substitute it, I guess.

QuintusQuinti: You say a three finger pinch of asafoetida but everyone knows for a truly authentic flavor you should use a five fingered pinch. What a hack.

AlbusPopulus: This was delicious! I subbed in pork chops since I didn’t have any vulvas, plus I added some powdered ranch dressing and raisins and dressed it with an emulsion of raw egg, oil, and vinegar. Great salad!

Nemo82: Next time can you please include cooking times for those of us in the Southern hemisphere? I forgot to factor in the fact that your hour is 30 minutes longer than ours so my vulva turned out RAW! Next time just say something normal like “cook until done.” Nobody likes a raw vulva.

NovusHomo: Pork CHOPS?!? Nasty!

Anon22: I’m allergic to vulvas — do you have any testicle or thymus gland recipes?

AeliusA: Don’t eat testicles! I read that Scribonius said they can cause cancer when you cook them at too high of a heat. Thymus gland can be very good for you, though, as it can strengthen the blood and protect against dropsy, but you’ve got to soak it in sour mare’s milk first to remove the bitterness.

LilLivia: Is this WholeXXX compliant?

Octavia8D: I clicked because my husband won’t eat my vulva cause he says it’s not as good as his mom’s. That’s why I’m always looking for new ways to get him to eat vulva, but I didn’t read past the admission that this is a sponsored post! FOLLOW THE MONEY!

IlludQuodEaDixit: I came for this!

Manius: Silphium? Are you kidding? That stuff is so expensive and extinct! Why not just recommend asafoetida like a non-elitist

APICIUS (ADMIN): Personally, I’m comfortable with elitism—gives us all something to aspire to!

57Lucia: This turned out terrible! I couldn’t find a sterile womb and had to go with a used one — so chewy. Don’t cook this!

Uummu: I was all out of pepper, dry mint, honey, and broth, so I subbed in garlic and a bag of dried crocodile dung I had leftover from last market day. Too garlicky.

Julius123: This wasn’t sweet at all. Two thumbs down.

PiscesLover: No garum! For shame!

HortusBotanicus: Can you please start posting more recipes for us Pythagoreans? I can’t eat any of this stuff!

Flavia: What do you mean by “sterile sow”? Can it just be a pig who hasn’t had a litter or do you have to bleach the vulva first to kill the germs?

MaximusDK: Oh my gosh, what? Sterile definitely means “hasn’t had a litter,” you weirdo. What are germs?

APICIUS (ADMIN): Hi Flavia, there are two types of sterile vulva: you can slaughter the whole pig, or you can spay her—either way, you’re in for a tasty treat! But no, you probably shouldn’t bleach your food … do you even know where bleach comes from?

Claudia421: I tried the grilled vulva tonight. I was skeptical about the brine, but it really does add a nice sour, salty, soggy punch!

IraSemper: Who needs five different recipes for sow’s genitalia? Just stuff it inside a fermented dolphin like a normal person and stop trying to fix something that isn’t broken.

LesbiaSemper: everyone on here drooling over vulvas has clearly never had clitorides—the superior snack.

EveryMan’sGaius: I would love to try these recipes with some clitorides mixed in, but I can’t ever seem to find any!

Julia69: Maybe you aren’t looking hard enough? I have no problem finding them, but maybe it helps that I have a lot of hands-on experience sourcing meat?

APICIUS (ADMIN): Hi EveryMan’sGaius! Yes this is great with clitoris added — in fact I’ve heard some people say you should always include clitorides when you’re having vulva.

Sarah Scullin is more of an ass man, herself.

Other stories in this issue:
A Grad Student’s Guide to Free Food
The Sustainable Stoic
Hippocrates Would Have Wanted You To Eat Cake
Pour Some Pepper On Me