Hog Roast Thames Ditton
Despite the fact that Thames Ditton lies on the border of the country's capital city, the village retains all the charm and greenery characteristic of a town more off the beaten track, so to speak. Recorded in a charter as early as the year 983, Thames Ditton appears in the 1086 Domesday book with assets including four households and 20 hogs.
Given that this village has existed for so long, it is of no doubt that some of those hogs mentioned in the Domesday charter ended up at medieval tables, gently roasting on a spit and feeding whole rooms of families or local villagers. Whole hogs were often cooked for the purpose of feeding large groups of people, at a banquet, feast or on holidays or public celebrations. Cooking the entire animal at once was much easier than cooking lots of separate pieces, and only required a small number of people to prepare the entire meal. The versatility of this method of cooking allows more or less any meat to be cooked; smaller spits could cook chickens or pigeons easily enough, and heavier larger spits were made to accommodate the hulking body of hogs or even buffalo. Of course, such a sight would often become a main focus of any said event. It's not difficult to imagine a huge crowd gathered around a whole roasting buffalo, plates at the ready, watching the meat cook as they eagerly watch.
The method of turning the spit as the meat cooks is another image synonymous with that of hog roasts and hog spits. It must have taken some real elbow grease to pull a whole cow around and round a spit; but the movement is essential to ensure every part of the meat is cooked thoroughly and crackled in all the right places.