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The Criminalisation of Tradition

by nasha17 

Posted: 02 December 2004
Word Count: 533
Summary: If you love food, please comment! And otherwise, if you found it interesting enough to read to the end, please give me some criticism.

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The joie de vivre of many living beings is somewhat limited these days. Two categories, may i suppose? First/ worst: Drawn out over the whole chain, none of these beings have entirely themselves to blame. Different species simply complement eachothers’ obesities.

In the rural depth of Gascony once, I tortured an innocent animal; I sat with a bird between my legs and after a Grandma put a funnel in an aperture, I forced dried maize with my very own ten year old’s hand through the utensil into the body. The liver expanded more and more over the few weeks ( it was mostly the Grandma’s work, I could not take all the credit) until it died a traditional death of throat-slitting, followed by much salting and preserving. Now this enormously fattening lardy liver was to be revered and consumed following Midnight Mass in a most large of family fests.

The goose was not young. I watched it grow in a huge green meadow with many mates, perhaps stopped to say hello as my bicycle chain drooped. My life also changed.

I have always wondered about broiled breast of chicken. In the States, that is. What exactly is this way of cooking, way of life? Poor old broilers only live forty-five days and are force-fed every day and night as lighting booms to increase the chicken’s imagined self-feeding hours. Synthetic, indoor daylight, to reflect diet. A little like The Matrix, rows and rows of unidentifiable limp objects with room not to turn. No child would touch this.

Following the conveyor belt death and bleaching, they then may be fried in Kentucky and consumed by super-sizers. The majority of the population in the Western World denounce foie gras as a cruel and therefore inedible delicacy. The majority readily buy and eat any average battery-farmed chicken found in the supermarket aisle. These do live a shorter life, but it froths with cruelty.

A whole global link-chain, adorned very heavily on one side, paper-weight on the other.

One of my fondest gastronomical memories is of two big bowls of foie gras stew at a twenty-person family Sunday lunch, with my best friend in South-West France. Tuck in! No restraint for any of the numerous generations( and traditional deaths all round.) I had never seen anything like it. But why do some long for beans and chips every night, at six’o’clock please, when i dream of seared Coquilles-St-Jacques, carbohydrates and a hearty ox-tail stew. Some call me thin.

Anyway, I think I will have to remove California-broiled chicken breast from my list of future delights, as it will never have the chance to be decorated with a delicious ballotine of foie gras. Never to be seen again, that pink, velvety, mouth-watering substance, in California anyway. “Don’t be back!” I don’t believe it fits Arnie’s home-made regime. Such cruelty...

They think it’s all over, but one tiny consolation all year round: my local Waitrose sells nice big glass jars of goose fat for my weekly roast potatoes. No. Gourmet will never leave my vocabulary, but it is entirely semantic. It will never be over for me. Christmas comes quicker and quicker and so the geese scream “Asta la vista.”

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