Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Myths, fables, instructive stories. ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Myths, fables, instructive stories.
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: dickboyd-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 01 Feb 2004 18:06 PST
Expires: 02 Mar 2004 18:06 PST
Question ID: 302602
What is the story about the Chinese (or some early civilization)
burning down their houses to get roast pig, only to learn they don't
have to burn down a house to roast a pig?
Subject: Re: Myths, fables, instructive stories.
Answered By: bobbie7-ga on 01 Feb 2004 19:24 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Dickboyd!

The story you?re referring to is called ?A DISSERTATION ON ROAST PIG?
by Charles Lamb, from Essays of Elia.

?A Dissertation on Roast Pig,? a satirical account of how the art of
roasting was discovered in a Chinese village that did not cook its
food. A mischievous child accidentally set fire to a house with a pig
inside, and the villagers poking around in the embers discovered a new
delicacy. This eventually led to a rash of house fires. The moral of
the story is: when you do not understand how the pig gets cooked, you
have to burn a whole house down every time you want a roast pork

You may read the story at the any one of the links below:

A Dissertation Upon Roast Pig by Charles Lamb
Reprinted here is the essay, ?A Dissertation Upon Roast Pig?

Charles Lamb (1775-1834)
A Dissertation Upon Roast Pig

Essays of Elia
(Lucas, 1905 edition)
Table of Contents
Click on number 18 to read ?A DISSERTATION UPON ROAST PIG?

Or use this direct link:

The Dissertation on Roast Pig has been one of the most widely
appreciated and most frequently quoted of all the Essays of Elia.

Biography: Charles Lamb

Search criteria:
?roast pig? story 
?roast pig? burn OR burning 
"discovered roast pig" burned down
?A Dissertation of a Roast Pig?
?Charles Lamb? ?Essays of Elia?

I hope you find this helpful!

Best wishes,

Request for Answer Clarification by dickboyd-ga on 01 Feb 2004 20:42 PST
Part of the question I should have asked was how widespread is the
knowledge of this story. If I were to ask "Do you burn down a house to
roast a pig?" How many would understand that means look for true
causes? Or would I get blank stares, but that is a whole nother

You earned your money, thanks.

Clarification of Answer by bobbie7-ga on 01 Feb 2004 20:51 PST
Dear Dickboyd,

I'm not sure how widespread the knowledge of this story is, but
according to an article at,  The Dissertation on Roast
Pig has been one of the most widely appreciated and most frequently
quoted of all the Essays of Elia.

Thank you very much for the five star rating and generous tip!

dickboyd-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
The answer was faster than I expected and had more links to
asscociated stories than I expected. The speed and links are worth an
extra $5.

There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy