The vast majority of French people cannot tolerate the behavior of eating dog meat, but they can accept a feast with their heads covered and forbidden to hunt birds, just because this is a representative of French gastronomic culture?
Located in the idyllic Landes province of southwestern France, the menu of the three-Michelin-star restaurant “Eugeny Prairie” reads like a poem describing the local waters and soils: truffle pancakes with silky gray pie, and fragrant roasted pork knuckles Smoked eel and lemongrass verbena soufflé. However, Chef Gailar revealed that there is an important dish in the restaurant that is not listed on the menu, and that is the bunting. The bunting is a beautiful bird with an extremely graceful and graceful singing voice. Since the Middle Ages, the French have captured buntings in the southwest coastal areas and immediately put them in a dark cage. It is said to prevent them from chirping, or to prevent them from singing. Let them mistakenly think it is night, so they eat a lot of grains such as white millet and grow their weight from 25 grams to more than 120 grams in 21 days.
When the bunting can be fattened out of the pot, the chef drunk it with Armagnac, a strong liquor, and then started cooking. The specific method is to first pluck the feathers and add the sauce to marinate, then put it in the oven and bake for 8 minutes. When diners eat, they will swallow the golden and oily bird in one mouthful, leaving only the bird’s head outside. Then you need to breathe in, let the hot oil slide down your throat, and finally chew slowly, eating the meat with the bones. Perhaps this kind of eating is too ugly, or because of fear that God will find this disgustingly cruel way of eating. When French people taste buntings, they have to cover their heads with a turban to “cover their ears and steal the bell”. Potentially enjoy delicious.
How delicious is the bunting? French celebrity chef Cousso praised “this bird is absolutely delicious”. Because the bunting is wrapped in fat and oil, it has the delicate taste of hazelnuts. It feels like entering another space when eating the meat, grease and small bones while it is hot. The historical emperor Napoleon III and the great writer Alexandre Dumas are loyal fans of the bunting. Cuso recalled that he had prepared buntings for President Mitterrand and his successor Chirac (it was legal to eat buntings at the time). It is said that Mitterrand’s last dinner before his death in 1996 was to taste two buntings, plus foie gras, capon and three dozen oysters.
In order to taste the delicacy of the bunting, people hunted this kind of bird in large numbers, causing its population to drop sharply. France enacted legislation in 1999 to ban the hunting of this kind of bird, with a fine of up to 6,000 euros. The European Union also bans hunting and eating buntings. However, due to ineffective law enforcement and being raised to the height of traditional culture, some places are still secretly eating privately, and gourmet restaurants have turned it into an undisclosed “dark cuisine.” The author and chef Amberton described in his 2010 book Semi-Wild that French chefs meet secretly in a restaurant in New York late at night and taste the bunting: it is like a plume of fat, offal, and bones. The hot stream mixed with flesh and blood is indeed very delicious.
The ban on eating buntings has made the French gastronomy industry quite dissatisfied. Three Michelin celebrity chefs, Cousso, Ducasse and Du Dourne, planned to return buntings to public view last year. They suggested that a weekend tasting of buntings should be approved every year. Dukas owns several restaurants all over the world. In 1995, he did 20 buntings at the circus restaurant in New York, which made headlines for a while. Dukas and his colleagues argued that their main purpose was to restore a culinary tradition that dates back to Roman times, when the emperors were keen on the charming taste of bunting. And they also hope to pass on this culinary skill to a new generation of chefs: “We hope to do this so that the delicate things that make up French cooking genes and history will not be lost.”
However, French environmental organizations strongly protested the restoration of bunting food. They said that more than 30,000 buntings are poached in France each year. A bunting can be sold for a high price of 150 euros on the black market, and the huge profits are enough to make this migratory bird migrating from Africa extinct within 100 years. Environmentalist Du Boer said that in order to quickly fatten up in the dark for 21 days, sometimes poachers will blind the eyes of birds, but “food must not be used as an excuse for such cruelty to animals.” Professor Guiguet of the French Museum of Natural History said that the European Court of Justice has prosecuted France for “criminal” several times for “conniving poaching buntings”. He warned that if the French can’t control their mouths, the “cruel delicacy” they admire will inevitably follow the disappearance of the bunting.