Tuesday, 15 February 2011

An Omelette, An Aside and An Ortolan Bunting.

An Omelette:
This week the chickens in Kabul are laying so vigorously that a communal omelette has taken the place of the fought-over-fried-egg.   This one contains an Afghan version of Feta cheese.  But do note first the dreamy nectar-yellow of the yolks, the chickens fed on kitchen scraps alone…

An Aside:
As an aside, I am reminded of the extraordinary tale by Edgar Allen Poe, The Duc de L’Omelette.  Poor Duke Omelette dies of shock when his precious Ortolan Bunting arrives on the platter not prepared as it should be.

So that the same does not occur for you, I thought it only best to elaborate on the preparation of the Ortolan Bunting – an apparent delicacy once-upon-a-time in France.

An Ortolan Bunting:
The Ortolan Bunting, Emberiza Hortulana, is fattened to four times its own size, then drowned in burning Armagnac for eight minutes.  To eat the tiny bird, one covers one’s head with a linen shroud, to keep in the aroma and to hide the appalling act from God.  The head dangling from between the lips, one gorges on the whole bird, lungs, heart and bones.

Fortunately in this case the Duke beats the Devil at cards, and is given another chance...

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