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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

MARTA CEBELLINA

Image from page 127 of
"The animal kingdom "
From: Internet Archive Book Images
L. Mustela zibellina Eng. sable (‘sable marten’). This flesh-eating animal, feeding on small animals, eggs, fish, seeds, honey and fruits, is a member of the weasel family. According to Benavides-Barajas, it is of Turkish origin, while other sources claim that it is a native of artic and sub-artic regions of Europe and Russia. 

Today, it only exists in Kamchatka (northern Russia) between the Okhotsk and Bering Seas. Sable in America is another larger species. The fur of Spanish and Portuguese sables was treasured particularly in the 15 C and exported to England but the meat went to Iberian pots, especially in Al-Andalus. Most sources state that the color of the fur varies from brown to black while the Oxford English Dictionary claims it is brown but dyed black.

[Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:220; Espasa.1988:33: MARI:426; OXF Dict. 1989:XIV:Rob:322-323; and Webster’s New Geographical Dict. 1992:584]

2 comments:

  1. Sable fur -- isn't this what the ancients called the "golden fleece?"

    I live in Germany and am familiar with pine martens and stone martens, but I had no idea that there was another weasel out there whose meat was savored alongside its fur. I wonder what it tasted like. You haven't tried it, have you?

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  2. Greeks and Romans called sables "golden fleece." Serbians followed did the same for their extreme value.

    I have never had the opportunity to taste the meat of any marten species.

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