Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Eating Ortolan



Here's one from the 'Wouldya! Couldya?' files. It seems there is an innocuous little song bird (25g-just less than an ounce), called the Ortolan that makes its way across the Landes region,to the south of Bordeaux on its way to winter with the Hippo in africa. As yer do.


Here's the strange bit, Not only is this little fella considered a delicacy, but it's eaten guts, feathers an' all and served on fire - yep a la Tweedy-pie and Sylvester. Gizzards, testicles, Goofy Girls cooking, I like to think of myself as an adventurous eater. But I'm not sure if I could!


As this takes place in France there are a few ritual elements to consider - you're supposed to eat them with a napkin over your head. Strange yes, but that's not the only part. they are trapped in nets, then kept tin the dark for a month being fattened up on grain, and then drowned in armagnac. Classy.




Trapping the Ortolan has been illegal in France for ages, an this is supposed to be the zero tollerance year, but being an activity that's only practised in the depths of the countryside by a dwindling band (you wouldn't have to ask why) of old people it's not usually considered for prosecution.


'Fran├žois Simon, a restaurant critic for Le Figaro, has tried ortolans on several occasions. "It's absolutely delicious: rather crunchy, with the texture and flavour of hazelnuts,"'

EDIT Thanks to Hubert some background is here in a story from '97
Your Pal
SBW

19 comments:

Le Loup said...

No, definately not. I have eaten a few strange foods in my time in the spirit of experimentation (and also on occasion because I wasn't game to say no!), but not this little bird. Not unless I needed to.

Trey said...

I taught I saw a putty cat!

Deus Ex Machina said...

It always makes me wonder, when I read something like this, how people come up with these things. Most of the new "wisdom" I learn has a lot of common sense and practicality behind it. I do not think this does, but it is interesting. I think I am in your camp on this one ... not sure that I could, starvation aside.

I am Stan said...

Yoooo Wacker,

Yeah Ive seen them do this some years back on TV,for me its a "whats the point",too much cruelty involved and for what,just go to the supermarket and buy something tasty.

Hubert Hubert said...

Mitterrand's last meal: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/the-ortolan-stirs-up-trouble-behind-a-white-napkin-1282575.html

HH

Phillip said...

Yeah, a little rough for my palate. Not that I doubt Mssr. Simon's review, of course... but I'm in no hurry to prove him right or wrong. I don't even like the tiny bones in deep-fried fish, no matter how my Chinese friends try to tell me they're perfectly edible and safe.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Chaps

Blood,bones,guts and gore are all good eatin' to me. But feathers! Burnt feathers at that!! Really??

SBW

kmurray said...

Eewwww! No thanks I'll pass. I just couldn't do it. Bones? Feathers? Guts? GACK!

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

kari

It's just not nice is it?

SBW

GoofyGirl said...

well, now I know what to make you next time I'm cooking dinner for you ;)

(Seriously though... BLECH!!)

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

GG
Road kill turkey?
SBW

GoofyGirl said...

But of course, surely you know that's a lovely illegal delicacy in these parts. ;)

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

GG
Really? I've read that there is a season for them, although seeing as they're feral rather than wild it's more 'turkey picking' than 'turkey hunting'

How are you going cook it? After your southern adventures I'm hoping you'll deep fry it. Bow season is coming, and failing that my driving is sure to yield a fat one!

SBW

GoofyGirl said...

Naa... the ones you have seen are actually pets of locals. Obviously there are some wild ones too, but they don't wander around our front yards parading their poults.
As for the catch & cook... I'll loan you my car... and give you a fork.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

GG
What a funny coincidence, you've got a fork for me, I was planning to give you one.
SBW

GoofyGirl said...

Hmmm, that IS quite a coincidence, and I am so pleased that you were planning to give me a fork as well.

(Any chance I could enlist your help & generosity with the, only partially finished, shelving in my kitchen? I just need help with a few screws that I can't seem to manage on my own. Of course you'd have to come here, but since I've promised you a ride & a fork... I'm sure you could manage a screw or two.)

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

GG
I'll have to come over asap
SBW

Joe said...

Crab guts are yummy. Little birdie is in case of emergency only. Most people would probably get sick.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Joe

crab guts = defiantly yummy

SBW