22 March 2012

For you, there'll be no more crying

Look! Nests! Such a nice resting place for a tired little songbird. Bwah-hah-hah!
Science Gallery, Dublin, Thursday 22nd March
One of the joys of working for yourself is that you can arbitrarily decide to take the morning off, say for example in the event of the publication of the findings of a €250 million Tribunal into certain corrupt practices involving politicians and former Taoisigh (well worth a few hours perusal I think you will all agree).

One of the other joys of working for yourself is the recursive pleasure of taking time off from taking time off, say for example if you tire of reading a report into certain corrupt practices involving politicians and former Taoisigh and you feel like nipping down to the Science Gallery for a spot of Ortolan.

Operation Edible Cruelty is Go!
Science Gallery, Dublin, Thursday 22nd March
Ortolan is a small French songbird that is intimately involved in what has been described as one of the cruelest culinary creations of all time. Traditionally a small bird would be captured, placed in a darkened confined space (like a small box), force-fed until three times its natural size before being drowned in Armagnac and devoured whole, bones and all. So barbaric was this practice that the French finally outlawed it... in 2007. Even those who were partial to Ortolan realised that it wasn't really that nice a thing, so they would cover their heads with a cloth while they ate it to hide their shame from God.

Apparently the last meal of Francois Mitterand, lying in his death bed with prostate cancer, was roast Ortolan complete with head-covering cloth, French "Ortolan Socialists" beating their smoked-salmon UK cousins in the debauchery stakes, hands down. There's a reason there is no word in English for "Bon Appetit".

Can you tell what it is yet?
Science Gallery, Dublin, Thursday 22nd March
Of course the Science Gallery would never be as cruel as Monsieur Masterchef Socialiste, even in the interests of science, and so what was on offer today was a completely vegan recreation of this most carnivorous of dishes, as part of their current Edible exhibition. Six of us gathered at lunchtime to hear the chef talk about the dish, have it served up on a mock nest and then cover our heads in shame as we chomped our way through eerily realistic facsimiles of tiny bones, squishy internal organs and sweet succulent meat, all wrapped up in a pocket of tofu doing a remarkably good impression of roasted flesh.

Om-Nom-Nom indeed, and as the great philosopher Homer once said, "Sacrilicious".

a) I'm agnostic and b) it's vegan, so why do I need to cover my head in shame?
Science Gallery, Dublin, Thursday 22nd March
The Science Gallery are doing a different Taste showcase twice daily, Tuesday to Sunday, for much of the Edible exhibition (pre-booking is recommended). They probably won't all be as exciting as the Ortolan every day, but they are still worth checking out.

Update 26/03/12: Edible continues until the 5th of April, and not the 10th as originally stated (thanks Fionn!). Get down there while you still can, only a few days left now!

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At 10:30 am, Blogger Fionn said...

Hey, nice review of Ortolan! Just a note for your readers - EDIBLE closes on April 5th.


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