Anthony Bourdain and... ORTOLAN ??!!


I've been a fan of Anthony Bourdain for years- chef turned writer turned traveling story teller and eater of weird things. Look familiar? His show "No Reservations" appears on A & E or the Travel Channel to this day. You can also catch episodes of his global crusades on TV series features on long flights abroad as well:
This cursing, chain smoking wise guy is a straight shooter who has been getting a lot of attention recently for publicly slamming Paula Deen for hiding her diabetes and then partnering with a diabetes drug company. A recent Tweet: "Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later." Love his attitude and stubborn will to not "sell out".
Recently I finished his first non-fiction book: Kitchen Confidential about the underbelly of the restaurant world and his rise from a drug addicted cook to a head chef at his reputable New York restaurant, Les Halles. If you haven't read this book I highly recommend it! Bourdain is a hilarious, write-like-you-speak author. I found his tips about dining out fascinating... aka. never order seafood frittata on a Sunday brunch and he doesn't suggest eating the fish special on a Monday because most restaurants get their fish on a Thursday so you will be eating the oldest stuff they have... Order a steak well done? Forget about it- you are getting the shittiest, tail end piece of meat in the kitchen.
What really got my attention is his most recent book that I just started reading: 
I'm only a few chapters in but what really caught my attention and that I HAD to share with you is a rare and forbidden French delicacy... the Godfather of delicacies in French cuisine. I cannot stop thinking about this illegal and endangered bird that is served whole, sizzling hot, ungutted... The ORTOLAN! From Medium Raw: "The ortolan, is a finch-like bird native to Europe and parts of Asia. In France, where they come from, these little birdies can cost upwards of $250 a pop on the black market. It is a protected species, due to the diminishing number of its nesting places and shrinking habitat."
The bird is drowned forcefully in a brandy called "Armagnac" for even more flavor and defeathered.
The most fascinating part of this delicacy to me is that the entire bird is consumed.. bones, guts, beak and brain in one bite.. and here's where it gets even weirder: the correct way to eat an ortolan is under the cover of the napkin on your lap??? Reason being is that the consumption is a messy affair and the aroma is apparently incredible and needs to be kept within your shrewd:
Yep... no joke.. Doesn't it remind you of some secret society like the stone cutters or something? I just can't get over this bizarre "delight". Apparently the flavor is incredible... huh. The birds are kept in a small box and all they do is eat figs, millet and oats to fatten them up and add flavor.


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