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- The Ortolan Bunting banned as a table delicacy in France
Mike Alexander has been following the fate of the ortolan for a while. Here is his report:
Bavarian Broadcasting is reporting on the extensive trapping of song birds in Egypt as they migrate back to Europe from their winter African resting grounds. 700 kilometers of nets have been set running almost the entire Egyptian coastline from Libya to the Sinai, the only gaps being where there are military facilities in the way. Millions of tiny birds are expected to be caught and they will then be sold as delicacies in North African markets and restaurants. The trapping is almost totally illegal but there is little likelihood of any form of prosecution taking place.
If this African practice shocks you then perhaps you will be interested at how one of these song birds has been treated here in France. The Ortolan Bunting has long been regarded as one of the premier French delicacies with Alexander Dumas comparing it to other famous culinary delights like the Perigord truffle or fois gras stuffed quail.
Former President François Mitterand famously chose it as his last meal and on a slightly less famous occasion Jeremy Clarkson a UK TV personality was filmed eating one in Gascony in 2007.
This is an excerpt read the rest here.
(Contact Mike for republication rights to this story)