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The Exceedingly Proper Serving of Fowl [Apr. 26th, 2009|10:09 am]
Sure, most people know how to cut up a turkey. But have you ever carved a duck? Well, you shouldn't have! You're supposed to "unbrace" a duck.

Specialized terms for cooking go way back in English as a mark of how the server's profession was established. The understanding of such jargon was part of the mark of proper nobility and servitors. Food was very important and such specialized language called attention to it.

So what do we need to know?

  • One spoils a hen
  • One frusts a chicken
  • One sauces a capon (and if you think those three are all pretty much the same creature, they are but you must be proper and distinguish!)
  • One unbraces a duck
  • One rears a goose
  • One lifts a swan
  • One displays a crane
  • One disfigures a peacock
  • One allays a pheasant

And those are just the common birds one might serve! Consult the original text, the 1685 manual "The Accomplisht Cook" (about halfway down), for a complete guide on how to accomplish, and speak of, such things. There'll be a quiz tomorrow. ;)

[User Picture]From: singingnettle
2009-04-26 05:53 pm (UTC)
The poor peacock...

They're not reputedly very good eating, anyway.
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[User Picture]From: kinkyturtle
2009-04-26 06:00 pm (UTC)
I thought you were supposed to unbrace a sheep. Y'know, like in the song, "Unbraceable Ewe".
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[User Picture]From: tgeller
2009-04-28 04:03 am (UTC)
I was just singing that song to myself a few seconds before reading this post. HOW WEIRD IS THAT???
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[User Picture]From: kinkyturtle
2009-04-28 09:53 am (UTC)
Great minds (with nonzero-intersecting cultural backgrounds) think alike!
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[User Picture]From: gatcat
2009-04-26 06:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the quick lesson and the reading recommend!

Might I in turn suggest to you a pair of volumes of similar interest: Escoffier's Le Guide Culinaire, the early 20th century treasure trove of interesting foodstuffs, many of which have been forgotten if not utterly reviled; and Stephen Rinella's Scavenger's Guide to Haute Cuisine, the story of a modern day attempt to revive some of those forgotten recipes, by any means necessary. (Disclaimer: I have only browsed the former, but I'm about to embark on a second delicious reading of the latter.)

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[User Picture]From: djmermaid
2009-04-26 09:24 pm (UTC)
I have heard that there is a recent foodie trend to serving all the stuff that for years were considered by-products, but were actually part of french (and other) cuisine in in the past. fancy chefs like Thomas Keller are doing this!

(wow, I need a foodie icon.) ;-)
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2009-04-26 10:54 pm (UTC)
I know of Escoffier, of course, but haven't had a chance to read it. Did read bits of Scavenger's Guide and it looked pretty good (but I ended up not buying it that day).
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[User Picture]From: athelind
2009-04-26 08:32 pm (UTC)
That's as bad as the collective nouns for flocks/herds/packs of various species.

Furries being furries, if these get out, I'll lay odds that we'll see long threads about just which words one uses when preparing dragons, gryphons, manticores, and unicorns.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2009-04-26 10:50 pm (UTC)
One "ignites" a dragon, one "alights" a gryphon, and one "deflowers" a unicorn.

...But let's not get silly. No one eats manticores.
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[User Picture]From: porsupah
2009-04-26 08:51 pm (UTC)
So, have you reared a goose?
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2009-04-26 10:45 pm (UTC)
Oh my! I'd not heard of "Posh Nosh". Those are great. Thanks! :D
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[User Picture]From: donkeyears
2009-04-26 11:12 pm (UTC)
I don't think what is called should concern people that eat food that I make. They should be more concerned on calling the poison center and ambulance service.
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