Monday, October 19, 2009

In A Pig's Eye

I'm far from a vegetarian, priding myself on the list of odd bits and parts I've eaten over the years (brain taco, ear taco, tongue sandwich, pig "snoots", etc). Still, in looking through this slideshow of the recent NYC feast put together by London's marrow-popularizing Fergus Henderson, I couldn't help thinking that things had gone a bit too far, that some line had been crossed, some unspoken rule violated.

Is Henderson trying to confront diners with the harsh reality of their carnivorousness by putting them literally face-to-face with the animal they're consuming? Certainly, the meal (or at least the slideshow) seems to have been impeccably sequenced, building from some relatively innocuous salad courses up to the full-on horror of a tongue and an eyeball being plucked from a pig's skull and eaten. When I got to the lamb's neck about halfway through the slideshow, I knew things were getting weird.

If the practice of eating meat ever dies out, I wonder if our descendants will look back at "FergusStock" with the same horror with which we now view certain practices of the Romans*.

*I was thinking here of vomitoriums, but have since learned that they did not actually exist, at least in the sense of venues for deliberate vomiting. The role of vomiting in upper class Roman dining practice still seems to be in dispute, however.


Another day, another food blog post involving eyeballs, actually a pretty fascinating step-by-step demonstration of how to cut up a (supposedly sustainable) bluefin tuna. Among the
handy tips:

"Cut around the eyeball and gouge it out with your hand."

"Rip out the eye. The eyes can be eaten raw or wrapped in foil and cooked."

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