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Saw an episode of Billions recently where they ate some ortolan and provided a backstory of it to boot. It has been illegal in the EU for decades as the birds were hunted till they became endangered. Just wondering if a forumite can share an actual experience. Link below gives good background.

https://www.cnbc.com/id/105181...popular::5:102527204
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Apparently, ortolan was Francois Mitterrand's last meal.

A tasting note from another diner:

In the darkness under my shroud, I realize that in my eagerness to fully enjoy the 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 od rapidly moving air through teeth under a dozen linen napkins. There’s a vestigal flavor of Armagnac, low-hanging fumes of airborne fat particles, an intoxicating dekicious 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 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, as the thin bones and layers of fat, meat, skin, and organs compact in on themselves, there are sublime dribbles of varied and wonderous 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, have been hanging from my lips, and
blithely crush the skull.


On paper, sounds interesting... In reality, not a shot!


PH
quote:
Originally posted by GlennK:
Sounds awesome. I would do it.


Every one I've read who's written about ortolan has been positive. I guess the whole "guts and crunching skull" thing has me a little leery.

Also, since the ortolan is (supposedly) endangered, I wonder if there aren't other "finches" that would fit the bill for this dish?

PH
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
quote:
Originally posted by GlennK:
Sounds awesome. I would do it.


Every one I've read who's written about ortolan has been positive. I guess the whole "guts and crunching skull" thing has me a little leery.

Also, since the ortolan is (supposedly) endangered, I wonder if there aren't other "finches" that would fit the bill for this dish?

PH


I believe not many of the finches are as fatty

you'd need to find a finch that's more prone for colder weather.
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
quote:
Originally posted by GlennK:
Sounds awesome. I would do it.


Every one I've read who's written about ortolan has been positive. I guess the whole "guts and crunching skull" thing has me a little leery.

Also, since the ortolan is (supposedly) endangered, I wonder if there aren't other "finches" that would fit the bill for this dish?

PH
I’m imagining it having a similar mouth feel to crunching on the head of a lightly fried shrimp that I get at a sushi restaurant. You get to eat the eyes and some of the brain and guts all in one crunchy package. Pretty tasty.

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