Epic Cheese Fail: Danish Scientists Find 3000-Year-Old Pot Ruined by Burnt Cheese

Epic Cheese Fail: Danish Scientists Find 3000-Year-Old Pot Ruined by Burnt Cheese

Was this poor chef attempting a melted-cheese soup, or ancient mac and cheese? We'll never know.

By Aly Walansky

Ever attempted to make a so-called easy recipe from your favorite TV chef, only to discover it involves 14 ingredients and an hour and a half of painstaking work? Before you know it, your kitchen is a mess and your pot is a burnt disaster, scorched with the remnants of what was meant to be a beautiful dinner. You try to scrub the pot clean, get nowhere, and end up just throwing it in the garbage.

Rest assured: This is a time-honored tradition. Archeologists in Denmark just found a 3,000-year-old clay pot that appears to have been ruined by some sort of burnt cheese. Millennia ago, a Bronze Age chef may have been attempting the antiquity version of fancy mac and cheese, or fondue, or French onion soup, and ended up with this sad result:  

Photo courtesy of Museum Silkeborg.

“Normally, you find black, charred deposits in the remains of pots that are typically from corn or seeds. But here we found a white-yellow crust that we hadn’t seen before,” archaeologist Kaj Rasmussen, from Museum Silkeborg, told Science Nordic.

"It seems to be related to myseost from Norway, a brown whey cheese," Rasmussen explained to NPR.

We'll never know if anyone got to sample that charred myseost-type stuff before the ancient cook tossed out the epic fail, but the pot certainly looks shot. Perhaps it could've been saved, if only those poor ancients had the cookware cleaning hacks we have at our disposal (or the Internet on which to look them up). Here, a few tips to try if your next cooking project goes the way of that tragic myseost.

1. Dryer sheets

Did you know you can clean a scorched pot with a dryer sheet? We didn't either. Just add warm, soapy water to a pot and throw in a dryer sheet. Let it sit overnight and give it a quick rinse in the morning, and see how that goes.

2. Water and baking soda

Add a little water to the bottom of the pot and sprinkle in baking soda. Let it sit for just a few hours, then wipe it; the residue should come right off....

3. Toothbrush

The baking soda is back again, but this time you’re going to try sprinkling it in your pan and then just rubbing out the stains with an old toothbrush.

4. Aluminum foil

Ran out of steel wool? Ball your foil, add dish soap and water, and use the foil to clean the pot.

5. Dish soap

And here’s that baking soda again: Heat a bit of dish soap with water and baking soda, and see if that doesn't do the trick.

If not, just go ahead and do it. Throw out that disgusting pan already.

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