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!

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