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Forgotten Cuisine - Ortolan (bunting)

message posted 20-Aug-07 12:42:33
If this dish was still served in restaurants today today the "ban Foie Gras" crusaders would be having a fiels day.

The ortolan is one of the great mythic creatures of French country cuisine. Trapped in nets and fattened up for several months, then smothered to death in wine, cognac or vinegar, they could be prepared in any number of ways, but connoisseurs tended to prfer them wrapped in a grape leaf and quick - roasted in a hot oven. A whole ceremonial attended their consumption, regarded as the absolute acme of gourmandise. As plates of the bite - sized delicasies were delivered, dineres covered their heads with towels and leaned forward like supplicants to capture every last savoty vapor rising upward, then seized each critter by the feet and chomped it whole in one mighty munch, spitting out the beak and delicately returning its tiny feet to the plate before moving onto the next. Former President Francois Mitterrand, at deaths door with cancer, is said to have ordered a plate of ortolans for his last supper. In one of the legal pirouttes that this country handles with such ease, it is now illegal to sell them in France - BUT NOT TO EAT THEM.

So on your next trip to france get a net ! let me know how they turned out.
Kitchen Bitch
Kitchen Bitch
message posted 10-May-08 10:13:21
I was in Paris last weekend (yes boys I got a weekend off)

In one of the small side streets in St Germain i came across a restaurant called *******. Anyway looking at the menu there were'nt any small birds on the menu, of course because this is "illegal" (not to catch , but to sell) after skillful smoothtalking (maybe a bit of upskirt to) I was shown to a private dining room where ortolon is still served.

The trick here is that you purchase the actual Plate and not the food, so you are technically not breaking the law.

This was a sureal experience. The room had about a dozen diners in, it was all candels and subdued lighting, The thing that was really weird was how silent all the diners were, almost like they were in church. WOW In this place the food and the chef is GOD, no Michelin bullshit just pure Cuisine from the soul and it was fantastic.

I got a bit stuck with the beak and leg bit but the Maitre;d was on hand (without pretention) to show me how. It is not something you could or would eat every day, but i tell you I almost had a Harry met Sally.

When the site gets private messaging I will be able to give you the name of the place until then its in a small side street with two italian restaurants in it and a Michelin restaurant nearby.

Luve & ortolon

Bitch X X
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