If This Is Real, I Quit.

by Andy Cochrane on December 17, 2007 · 5 comments

in Uncategorized


A little while ago I was emailed this story, and if it’s real (as best I can see so far, it is), I am resigning as a human being. If it is not real, whoever came up with this idea may want to look into thinking happier thoughts. Behold the Ortolan, a bird that is prepared and consumed in the most disgusting, inhumane manner I have ever heard of:

First, it is caught with a net in the forest. Taken alive, its eyes are poked out and the bird is put in a small cage. It’s then force-fed oats, millet and figs until it has swollen to four times its normal size. Then the bird is drowned alive in fine cognac. Then, it’s roasted whole, in an oven at high heat, for six to eight minutes. Once it reaches the table, a napkin is placed over the eater’s head. The technique of eating the ortolan is to put the whole bird into the mouth, with only the beak protruding. Here sadism mingles with masochism. The first taste as you crunch on the bird is the brandied flesh and fat. Then, the bitterness of the guts follow and finally, as the tiny, delicate bones are being chewed on, they will lacerate the diner’s gums, with the salty taste of the bleeding gums mingling with the richness of the fat and the bitterness of the organs. Chewing the ortolan takes approximately 15 minutes.

Why in the hell was this ever started? Every part of Ortolan eating seems like the type of thing that a totally deranged teenager would think up in between shooting cats and skinning squirrels in his back yard “laboratory” (tool shed). How something so absolutely sick ever reached a level of acceptance that it became a cuisine, then grew so big that selling the bird in France was outlawed, I will never know. It leaves me sad for the entire human race.

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  • http://blog.glyphjockey.com Lex10

    Very big in Hannibal Rising.

  • benchcoat

    It was Francois Mitterand’s last meal–you can hear the whole strangely engrossing story courtesy of This American Life here:


    Act Two. Last Meal.

    When Francois Mitterand knew he was about to die, he decided that the last food to cross his lips would be poultry…a tiny bird that is actually illegal to eat in France. It’s a bird that, by tradition, is eaten with a napkin covering your head. Writer Michael Paterniti set out for France to try the contraband capon himself. (11 minutes)

  • BAD

    You think this is bad? Keep researching…..

    When we had more nobles than governments, they were always very very very bored. As they had every extravagance they had to find new ways to get a rush. This of course took many sick and twisted practices involving sex, food, brutality, and other areas……

    So keep digging. You’ll find plenty more to make you hate what you are.

  • Colonel_Dashing

    Obviously created by people with a lot of time on their hands, and very little compassion in their hearts.

    Look into the meat industry as a whole; they share more similarities than differences.

  • http://www.theavclub.tv Andy Cochrane

    i think the only difference between this type of “cuisine” and regular meat eating is that torture (blinding, overfeeding, drowning alive) is a mandatory part of the preparation process- it is more cruel than veal and possibly more disgusting than all of these foods (thanks for the link goes to babs over on the av club blog). while all meat is cruel on some level, this requires the consumer to revel in the cruelty as part of the meal.

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