Thursday, December 31, 2009

little little Pretties

A friend was in for dinner the other night and we were discussing interesting delicacies found throughout the world..she mentioned a tiny French bird.
The Ortolan.

These are little bunting song birds kept alive in a dark box. The lack of light confuses their eating habits and causes them to gorge themselves, usually with oats and millet.

It's not unheard of for there to be force fed delicacies found in France.. but here is where it gets interesting.

To eat these little birds (only 6 inches long), you drown them in Cognac!
And as Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote, you would only eat these roasted cognac drunk birds, inards, bones and all, with a beautiful embroidered napkin draped over your head.

The napkin is said to keep in the delicious and delicate aroma. But really I think you covered yourself from looking like a complete savage, gnawing on little sharp bones which were notorious for cutting the gums of its consumer.. the mixing of the bloods was said to heighten the experience even more.

Wow! dear dear Gourmands.. it is now illegal to sell them in France, however not to eat them.

Watch Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear indulge in a little pretty!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Win This!

I would buy lots of these raffle tickets!

thanks for the photo Mr. Brisky

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I hope I see this in Vietnam!

photo courtesy of Albino

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More Horsing Around

This is a follow up to a post I made a few months ago regarding horse meat, and who eats it.

Today I read about the latest "Le Fooding" event held in Paris.

I went to "Le Fooding" held at PS1 back in September.
It featured chefs, DJs and artists from Paris and New York.

The latest event they threw was in an abandoned swimming pool in Paris and featured HORSE!

Check it out!
Eating Horse Meat in a Paris Pool

Monday, December 14, 2009

Hunting Knowledge

Hunters like a big meal!

You HAVE to wear orange (otherwise you might get shot!)

Make sure you strap yourself into the tree stand..
(yes people fall out after slowly dozing off)

Have some sort of Deer Wall Art

Make sure you use the meat after its hunted!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cows, and Cows, and Cows.

There are all these fancy new kinds of beef you pay top dollar for in restaurants.
What are they!

Piedmontese Beef
These cows were brought over from Piemonte (a region in Northwest Italy), by an Italian family in the early 80's. There are about 12,000 animals now registered in the US.

Their meat is very tender while also being very lean.
Availability can vary since there aren't many herds in America.
But if you can find it, buy it!

On to the Japan.
Wagyu and Kobe. So much confusion.

Wagyu refers to a few kinds of cattle bred in Japan, prized for its tenderness and marbled texture.

Kobe comes from the the black Tajima-ushi breed of Wagyu cattle.

More than likely you're not getting real Kobe beef unless you travel to Japan!

There's an organization in Japan that watches over the distribution of Kobe beef, they have standards the cattle must meet in order to be true Kobe Beef.

1. Has to be a Tajima cattle born in Hyōgo Prefecture
2. Fed by farm in the Hyōgo Prefecture
3. Bullock or Virgin cow, meant to purify the beef
4. Has to be processed at slaughterhouse in Kobe, Nishinomiya, Sanda, Kakogawa and Himeji in Hyōgo Prefecture.
5. Marbling ratio called is a level 6 and above.
6. Meat Quality Score is A or B
7. Gross weight of the beef is 470 kg or below.

Yes.. they each get a beer a day, usually in the summer to stimulate their appetite. And they get brushed with Sake, some farmers believe a softer coat makes for better meat.

What you can buy here is more than likely a Wagyu/Angus cross breed, marketed as American Kobe or just as Wagyu. There have been a few different Wagyu breeds introduced here since the 70s. In any case American Wagyu is a great product!