Wine, cured meats, cheeses ― these are all things that taste fabulous when they’re aged. But how aged is too aged?
Like, say, 340 years old?
Divers exploring the Kronan, a historic royal shipwreck off the coast of Sweden, recently found gold coins, a diamond ring ― and what they believe is a sizable hunk of gnarly-smelling old cheese, according to Sweden’s Evening Post.
They discovered the odorous would-be cracker spread inside a black tin jar on the seabed, and described it as smelling like cheese and yeast.
“It’s a pretty good guess that it’s some kind of dairy product, and we think it is cheese,” said researcher Lars Einarsson of the Kalmar County Museum, The Local reported.
“It looks a bit like some kind of granular Roquefort cheese. It’s been in the mud, so it’s reasonably well preserved, but at the same time it has been at the bottom of the sea for 340 years ― we’re not talking Tutankhamun’s burial chamber,” he said.
The Kronan sank in an explosion during a battle against Danish-Dutch forces on June 1, 1676. Roughly 40 men survived, but 800 lost their lives.
Researchers have gleaned a lot of information from the wreck, finding more than 20,000 items ― including brain tissue ― linked to the vessel since its rediscovery in 1980. Once the cheese has been properly analyzed, they hope it will provide more information about what life was like on a ship in the 17th century.
Mmm ... is anyone else hungry?