Grice Roast Anyone?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 22nd, 2006

Shetland Pig

The Shetland pig, or grice, was a specific and special feral boar that was driven into extinction 100 years ago. It was called a “scourge of lambs, landowners and local produce.”

There are no known photographs of it, although some drawings (such as the one above) exist.

Highlighted in BBC News and other media, it’s been all grice and no pig with this news.

Grice New

The Scotsman recently noted the grice’s distinctive appearance:

Short, squat, with a mohawk of bristled hair running down its spine, the grice was a primitive domesticated pig that became extinct after locals on the island were introduced to plumper and more docile species.

But for centuries before that, grice had the run of the islands in the summer and were free to take up their favourite activities – goring their 4in tusks into lambs and sheep, digging up pasture lands in search of worms and terrifying livestock. The creatures would then spend ill-tempered winters in the home of local crofters.

Shetland Pig

Now people can get a good view (see photos here) of what the grice probably appeared to look like, during its years of glory. A taxidermy re-creation will be exhibited at the Shetland museum, beginning spring 2007.

It may be turkey for most people in the USA on Thanksgiving, but, ah, some of our Shetland ancestors might have had a juicy grice roast. Yummy. (My apologies to vegetarians, of which I am one.)

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

13 Responses to “Grice Roast Anyone?”

  1. Riptor responds:

    Who knows, maybe it’s not extinct and some people still eat them for Thanksgiving instead of turkey in Shetland.

  2. Loren Coleman responds:

    Thanksgiving on the fourth (thanks “badstate”) Thursday of November is uniquely American.

  3. Riptor responds:

    Sorry, forgot about that.
    In Portugal we don’t celebrate it, so I didn’t really know exactly when it was.

    Thanks for the info.

  4. calash responds:

    I have heard that in the 1600’s lobsters were so plentiful that in some places getting out of a small boat could be hazardous because of the size and quantity of lobsters underfoot. It would have been a much better tradition to have a nice pile of red steaming 2-3 pounders. That would be a meal to look forward to!
    (Did the Pilgrims bring cows with them? They really could have used some butter)
    Regards and Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  5. DARHOP responds:

    Happy Thanks Giving to all you Mundo’ers… And Loren I hope are doing ok… Have a great Turkey day everybody….

  6. vet72 responds:

    Sounds like there was plenty of pork and beans for the folks in Shetland. The way Americans consume turkeys every Thanksgiving, around 45 million you’d think they’d become extinct. Anyway to all the Cryptomundo crew and loyal fans, have a safe and bountiful Thanksgiving!

  7. lastensugle responds:

    yeah, flæskesteg!!

  8. Mnynames responds:

    Yes, the Pilgrims brought livestock, but they and their descendents considered Lobster to be a food of last resort. Throughout New England, the only people fed Lobster were prisoners. In fact, several prison riots were caused by prisoners demanding to be fed something other than Lobster all the time.

    Not sure when some rich guy slathered it in butter and said, “Hey! This tastes great, let’s charge $8 a pound for it and keep it all for our wealthy little selves”, but i know it must have been after the Revolutionary War, because Lobster was a common food for prisoners of war held by the British.

  9. bill green responds:

    hey loren great new article, hey cryptomundo & everyone have a nice safe thanksgiving. thanks bill 🙂

  10. mystery_man responds:

    Mnynames brings up something that I always find interesting. How some foods that were once considered to be of low class or undesirable are now luxury products. I always get a kick out of those kinds of stories, like about the lobsters.

  11. Tengu responds:

    Lobsters are not good to eat, give me a nice fat pig.

    (though not too fat, a friend bought a traditionally reared pig and had it slaughtered, then threw away nearly half of it in the form of fat…)

    My favorite meats are wild boar (I spose a grice would do) and duck.

    We always have duck at Xmas or when guests are in….or that other strange new world bird, a TURDUCKEN…

    …and what do they look like when alive, pray?

  12. sausage1 responds:

    I doubt if grice still exist. They are probably just misidentified wild haggis.

  13. busterggi responds:

    Wild haggis are still reported? I didn’t think it possible, no one survives an encounter with a haggis!

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