Nature: On Bustards and Bunting

From gastronomical France, Christopher Jones writes:

Regarding the fate of those bustards who fell victim to a terror-fox, I can only comment that its tough to be a bird.  Although I have never tasted a bustard, he sounds pretty gamey.  However, in the name of the protection of nature, I have learned that one of the most mysterious gastronomic rituals of western civilization has disappeared. In the Parisian temple named Laserre, a little rare bird called an ortolan (a.k.a. in English as a "bunting") was served to the mighty of earth.  The guest was suitably prepared for the event by covering the head with a large linen napkin so that none of the extraordinary aroma would be lost.  This delicacy has been banned by fiat by those who rule us --  lost forever!  A tragedy of unparalleled proportions! 

RH: St. Francis is joyful, and so are ecologists and the Greens. The disappearance of species is a subject worthy of  a WAIS. discussion.

In France, buntings were viewed as food, haute cuisine. Glenye Cain has a higher interest in them: Buntings, at least in America, have not disappeared, and thank heavens for that. The indigo bunting is not exactly common here in Kentucky, but we do see them occasionally. They are a blue so vivid they appear almost to be neon. The back acreage of a farm I lived on until 2003 served as a sort of protected habitat for them, so that by the time I left there was a small flock of indigo buntings for the next resident to enjoy. As for bustards, I looked them up on the internet, and it turns out they're quite pretty. They don't look very large, so I can't imagine they'd be much of a match for a hungry fox.

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Ronald Hilton 2004


last updated: December 5, 2004