Monday, 18 October 2010


I was just reading about this in Anthony Bourdain's new book Medium Raw.  Apparently, it's a bit like the Fight Club of haute Cuisine and in Bourdain's case, they ate the budgies heads and all.  And I do mean all.  They don't even bother to disembowel the little bleeders first.

His description of the experience is one I'm making a note of to use in my novel.
In the darkness under my shroud, I realize that in my eagerness to fully enjoy this experience, I’ve closed my eyes. First comes the skin and the fat. It's hot. So hot that I’m drawing short, panicky, circular breaths in and out—like a high-speed trumpet player, breathing around the ortolan, shifting it gingerly around my mouth with my tongue so I don’t burn myself. I listen for the sounds of jaws against bone around me but hear only others breathing, the muffled hiss of rapidly moving air through teeth under a dozen linen napkins. There’s a vestigial flavor of Armagnac, low-hanging fumes of airborne fat particles, an intoxicating, delicious miasma. Time goes by. Seconds? Moments? I don’t know. I hear the first snap of tiny bones from somewhere near and decide to brave it. I bring my molars slowly down and through my bird’s rib cage with a wet crunch and am rewarded with a scalding hot rush of burning fat and guts down my throat. Rarely have pain and delight combined so well. I’m giddily uncomfortable, breathing in short, controlled gasps as I continue, slowly—ever so slowly—to chew. With every bite, the thin bones and layers of fat, meat, skin, and organs compact in on themselves, there are sublime dribbles of varied and wondrous ancient flavors: figs, Armagnac, dark flesh slightly infused with the salty taste of my own blood as my mouth is pricked by the sharp bones. As I swallow, I draw in the head and beak, which, until now, had been hanging from my lips, and blithely crush the skull.

What is left is the fat. A coating of nearly imperceptible yet unforgettable-tasting abdominal fat. I undrape, and, around me, one after another, the other napkins fall to the table, too, revealing glazed, blissed-out expressions, the beginnings of guilty smiles, an identical just-****ed look on every face.

Update: Francois Mitterrand's last meal.

Note to self:  Is it too late to procure a few of these off the black market before the end of Vegetarian Awareness Month?


Anonymous said...

A pity it didn't get it's revenge and choke Clarkson the pompous twit ! Micen90...

Sergej said...

So it's like General Tso's chicken, but with beaks?

What's with the napkins on the head, anyway?

David said...

The idea is one of three things 1) to hide your extravagance and shame from God, 2) to concentrate the aroma of the Armagnac, and 3) to avoid other people watching you stuff an entire piping-hot, fatty bird in your mouth and chewing it slowly.

I tend towards "3".