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 Dish of the Day - II

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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sun 18 Nov 2018, 12:10

Isn't the internet wonderful? Search long enough and with luck ye shall find.

In an online article by 'Paris Match', ostensibly promoting a newly published book by the French food historian Patrick Rambourg, I found an image of the original menu from the famous 'Souper des Souvrains' of the 18 November 1869, celebrating the opening of the Suez Canal. Et voila:




I'm intrigued by the signature dish 'Poisson à la reunion des deux mers', but perhaps other members of ResHistorica might be more interested in the more enigmatic, Jambon historié ... 'History ham' does indeed sound rather like quite a few of us here, n'est-ce pas?
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sun 18 Nov 2018, 18:16

It seems that even by the 1860s the British had already earned a culinary reputation somewhat of being beef-eating squares. Ox-tongue as a starter followed by roast beef as a main course. Worse than that was the prospect of pineapple pudding. Yuck. The antics of the British, in sniping at the canal project from the sidelines during its construction and then the juvenile gate-crashing of the opening ceremony by Captain Nares, suggests a remarkable degree of forbearance on the part of the hosts.

I do have a soft-spot for the French Second Empire and for the Empress Eugenie in particular. It’s retrospective sentimental romanticism, of course, but to think that only 10 months after the Ismailia ball the empire would be ended and she would be in exile is very sad.

Returning to the menu and the list of entrees, I can’t work out what the item is immediately below ‘Langues de boeuf a l’anglaise’. I read it as ‘Aspies de Nerac’ but what is an aspie and who or where is Nerac?
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Tue 20 Nov 2018, 09:32

I read that as Aspics de Nérac ... so I rather supposed it meant some sort of individual aspic gallantines, ie set savoury jelly terrines, made of, well, something or other.

Nérac is nowadays a small quaint medieval town in South-Western France (Lot-et-Garonne dept. of Aquitaine) but I'm not sure what the specific connection might be here. Its chateau was once the home of the future Henri IV of France and his wife queen Margot, so maybe there was a particular dish named in their honour - perhaps by our old friend La Varenne. But I note that the 'Dictionnaire de l'Académie française', sixth edition published in 1835, volume two, under the various uses of the word "pâté" gives;"Pâté en terrine, ou simplement, Terrine. Viande assaisonnée d'épices, de truffes etc. et cuire dans une terrine, ou en la laisse pour servie froide. Les pâtés en terrine de Nérac sont forts estimés". [My emphasis].

So at the grand 1869 Suez dinner I think the dish in question was likely to have been individual terrines, or slices of a larger terrine, composed probably of gamebirds and truffles, and the whole set with, or even within, aspic (which was then the very à la mode method of presentation).

PS : Et voila, after a bit more searching ...

The Agence de l'Alimentation Nouvelle-Aquitaine says that terrine de Nérac is traditionally made from partidge, foie-gras and truffles, and that the name dates from the 18th century. Theirs looks tasty but quite coarse in texture.  I suspect that the 'Aspics de Nérac' served in 1869 were much more finely cut and indeed were probably served to table as delicate slices of terrine, each one individually fixed in a perfect mound of clear, glistening aspic-gel.



And here's a suitable mid-19th century recipe published just the year before the Souper à Ismalia:



But this information just raises yet more questions ....

All the turkey, pheasant, partridge, quail, duck, and chicken, as well as the beef and venison, on the original menu are halal. But the usual recipe for this terrine (as above) includes minced pork and pork fat - although with all the foie-gras I'd have thought this was largely unnecessary, other than on grounds of expense which was surely not a consideration on 18 November 1869. However the Khedive, together with other eminent guests and local dignitaries, was presumably Muslim, whilst the supporting bankers, the Rothschilds, were Jewish. Accordingly I suspect the version as served was probably modified to use calves' foot gelatine rather than the more traditional pork gelatin, to get it to set. That said, while most of the menu is indeed of fish (are crevettes/prawns halal? - they certainly aren't kosher), poultry, beef and game (yes, lots of that), there was also the 'Jambon historié', mentioned further above. Or was that indeed just an amusing 'joke' dish containg no real porkiness at all?.

Then again of course, as the menu indicates, the dinner was in the established traditional style of service à la Française - with all dishes within each course served simultaneously, and accordingly one could choose what one wanted from a selection (indeed to tuck into everything served was generally considered rather greedy) - as opposed to the then, very new, style of service à la Russe - with its procession of dishes arriving one after the other, and all in turn served as they duly arrive, already 'plated up', to every diner - as one would typically expect at a grand formal dinner today.

I'm now tempted to try and work out what some of the other menu items might have been.


Last edited by Meles meles on Wed 21 Nov 2018, 16:23; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : an annoying typo)
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Tue 20 Nov 2018, 14:19

I admire your ability to find these appropriate menus for particular days, MM.  On my (not that numerous) visits to France (and the last two were just day trips) since I became a vegetarian most French people I met gave me a funny look when I said I was vegetarian (though they do like ratty towel as I call it - just doesn't appeal to my pallet).  I suppose there must be some French vegetarians.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Tue 20 Nov 2018, 19:27

@Meles meles wrote:
I read that as Aspics de Nérac... so I rather supposed it meant some sort of individual aspic gallantines, ie set savoury jelly terrines, made of, well, something or other.

Of course - yes - it's a 'c' not and 'e'. So a jelly terrine, that makes sense. If Nérac is in the Périgord, then the terrine seems to be a variation on a pâté de Périgueux - i.e. plenty of foie gras. But, as you say, the inclusion of pork fat may not have been advisable diplomatically on that particular menu. Strangely 'une vipère aspic' is a type of snake. I don't know if it's the same as Egypt's own asp of Cleopatra fame but jellied poisonous snake would certainly not have been a dainty dish to set before an empress.

P.S. LiR 'ratty towel' tickled me. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Tue 20 Nov 2018, 23:07

I think we are talking two different snakes here. the "vipere aspic" being the common European asp, Vipere aspis, but Cleo's version was more likely the Egyptian cobra, Naja haje, but possibly the horned viper, Cerastes cerastes.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Wed 21 Nov 2018, 19:56

LiR and Vizzer,

"(though they do like ratty towel as I call it - just doesn't appeal to my pallet).  I suppose there must be some French vegetarians."

Lady,

this continental, located North to France, don't understand that "ratty towel"...

"I suppose there must be some French vegetarians."

Of course there are...
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/27/french-butchers-ask-for-police-protection-from-vegan-activists
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C3%A9ganisme
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veganism

And I suppose they are linked to Animal Liberation Front...I remember them from the burning down of a Dutch gas station of Shell...up to now I don't know what Shell has to do with animals...but I thought it was an isolated case...but as I see now from the wiki...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Animal_Liberation_Front_actions,_2005%E2%80%93present

But there is worser:
I heard it first on the French geopolitical forum...I even had never heard about it...
http://geopolitique.passion-histoire.net/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1365&sid=eb9122f38912e577b07b812e307640cc
Equal rights for any living organism...have I to respect the rights of a tree?
I say you if I have to chose between a human and whatever living being causing harm to my equal human I will always chose the human, even if I have to kill the other living organism...and if I am then a racist, so be it
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisp%C3%A9cisme
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speciesism


But LiR as I know you, I think that you only restrict to vegatarian food for your health...and yes in the meantime you help to minimize the consumption of dirty energy and it seems according to the latest scientific observations that it is good for the preservation of our biological life on "our" planet...

Kind regrds from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Wed 21 Nov 2018, 22:12

@Green George wrote:
I think we are talking two different snakes here. the "vipere aspic" being the common European asp, Vipere aspis, but Cleo's version was more likely the Egyptian cobra, Naja haje, but possibly the horned viper, Cerastes cerastes.


Gil,

eek, poisonous snakes...I once saw a German in Turkey, coming down the hill "as white as a corpse". He said he had stepped on a viper...seemingly without harm...and there seems to be also vipers in MM's neck of the woods...
In Tunisia I together with mother, sister and her daughter, in the middle of the southern desert with a strange Tunisian guide (he lost the way in the desert and we came only home at 11PM in the evening)...an Italian touroperator (I don't know if there was a link with the events...he invited a local to demonstrate something with a scorpion...we in a circle around the man..he made a circle in the sand and then let a scorpion out of a small match box and the scorpion didn't go out of the circle and with a stick he obliged the scorpion to go in the box again...my thoughts on that moment: what if someone of our group received a bite of that animal...in the middle of the desert...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Thu 22 Nov 2018, 12:12

I wouldn't expect you to understand 'ratty towel', Paul.  It's my nickname for ratatouille.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Thu 22 Nov 2018, 13:18

@PaulRyckier wrote:
Equal rights for any living organism...have I to respect the rights of a tree?

In terms of trees then I would certainly say yes (within reason). For every tree cut down then at least 2 of the same genus should be immediately planted. We as the human species, however, are not matching this protocol. In fact we're not even matching it 1 for 1.

In terms of animals then yes again. The aforementioned foie gras, for example, has fallen out of fashion over the last 30 years. And over the last 5 years increasing numbers of countries have brought in outright bans on it. This is because of growing public awareness regarding the cruelty involved in the force-feeding of the birds in question. Some producers claim to produce duck or goose liver without force-feeding but policing and verifying this is difficult. In the meantime the Périgord's loss is Belgium's gain. Pork liver pâté from Brussels or the Ardennes has become de rigueur in British shopping baskets at Christmas time. That is, perhaps, until someone does an exposé on its production ....
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Thu 22 Nov 2018, 17:02

@PaulRyckier wrote:
..... eek, poisonous snakes...I once saw a German in Turkey, coming down the hill "as white as a corpse". He said he had stepped on a viper...seemingly without harm...and there seems to be also vipers in MM's neck of the woods...

Since this is at heart a culinary thread, the pedant in me insists that I point out that there are no poisonous snakes - indeed all snakes are perfectly edible (I've eaten rattlesnake). There are however some snakes that are venomous.

But yes the vipers in this neck of the woods are the European asp, Vipera aspis ... indeed I don't think common adders, Vipera berus, range this far south. Asps, despite their somewhat fearsome reputation are actually very small creatures - considerably smaller than most grass snakes or adders, and certainly not big enough to tackle a full-bosomed Cleopatra, even with Marcus Antonius already out of the way. The biggest asp I've ever encountered here was barely 40cm long, rather slim and docile, and just quietly basking in the sun on the door-step. While I know snakes can dis-articulate their lower jaw to enable them to swallow meals larger than their own head, this one would have choked on even the tiniest, most svelte mouse or shrew ... even one that had been working-out and crash-dieting for weeks. Indeed the earth-worms around here, while probably not heavier than the asps, are generally longer (... that's a 300mm/1foot rule):

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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Thu 22 Nov 2018, 22:20

LiR, Vizzer, MM, see you all tomorrow and kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Fri 23 Nov 2018, 11:36

Concerning the culinary use of vipers, Edward Topsell (1572-1625) in 'The History of Four-footed Beasts and Serpents', says on page 616 of the 1658 edition;

"Now followeth the preparing of Serpents; Take a Mountain Serpent, that hath a black back, and a white belly, and cut off his tail, even hard to the place where he ʃendeth forth his excrements, and take away his head with the breadth of four fingers; then take the reʃidue and ʃqueeʃe out the bloud into ʃome veʃʃel, keeping it in a glaʃs carefully, then fley him as you do an Eele, beginning from the upper and groʃʃer part, and hang the skin upon a ʃtick to dry it, then divide it in the middle, and reʃerve all diligently. You muʃt waʃh the fleʃh and put it in a pot, boyling it two parts of Wine, and being well and thoroughly boyled, you muʃt ʃeaʃon the broth with good Spices, and Aromatical and Cordial powders, and ʃo eat it."

... So cooked rather like eel. But he then goes on to say, somewhat less plausibly;
 
"But if you have a minde to roʃt it, it muʃt be ʃo roʃted, as it may not be burnt, and yet that it be brought into powder and the powder thereof muʃt be eaten together with other meat, becauʃe of the loathing, and dreadful name and conceipt of a Serpent; for being thus burned it preʃerveth a Man from all fear of any future Lepry [leprosy, although he means skin diseases generally], and expelleth that which is preʃent. It keepeth youth cauʃing a good colour above all other Medicines in the world; it cleareth the eye-ʃite, gardeth ʃurely from gray hairs, and keepeth from the Falling ʃickneʃs [epilepsy]. It purgeth the head from all infirmity, and being eaten (as before is ʃaid) it expelleth ʃcabbineʃs, and like infirmities with a great number of other diʃeaʃes. But yet ʃuch a kinde of Serpent as before we have deʃcribed, and not any other, being alʃo eaten, free-eth one from deafneʃs."

Mind you Topsell also reckoned weasles gave birth through their ears, lemmings grazed on clouds, apes were terrified of snails, and that elephants got pregnant by eating mandrake. He also reported as true the existence of fire-breathing dragons, manticores and unicorns, although he did express his skepticism for the many-headed hydra.


Last edited by Meles meles on Tue 04 Dec 2018, 17:44; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : it's neither ʃimple nor eaʃy typing ʃeventeenth century English)
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Fri 23 Nov 2018, 21:30

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
I wouldn't expect you to understand 'ratty towel', Paul.  It's my nickname for ratatouille.

And now I lost my message again. I start again.

Lady,

as usual you pushed me to search on the net even on university level and neuroscience !...

To start with: I searched in my Collins paperback on "ratty": 1. Brit. and N.Z. informal: iiritable, annoyed 2. informal: (of the hair) straggly and greasy. But at the same time I saw coincidentally as heading (first word) on the opposite page (704) the word: "ratatouile"...
And suddenly the light came in the darkness...
Of course "ratty towel" and "ratatouille"...and now I understand why our "Viizzer" put a smile, indeed that's a good one....
But then I was thinking about "homonym" but to be sure I did a quick research on the internet...perhaps I hadn't better done it but as said thanks to your ad random remarks I learned that much in the last years...

No, no homonym but homophone:
From wiki:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English%E2%80%93Spanish_interlingual_homographs



And:
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/23273798.2015.1120877?journalCode=plcp21

ABSTRACT
Bilinguals take longer to identify interlingual homophones than control words. For example, Dutch–English bilinguals take longer to identify an English word like “leaf” ([li:f]), a homophone of the Dutch word “lief” ([lif]; meaning “sweet”), than to identify a control word like “branch”. This homophone-delay effect, observed with both visual and auditory presentation, has been interpreted as evidence in favour of language non-selective lexical access. The present article examines whether a homophone effect is also present in word production. Theoretically, homophone production may profit from feedback from a phonemic level back to a lexical level, but may suffer from a semantic conflict during a process of output monitoring. In line with the latter view, the results show (a) a delay in the production of homophones in the second language, (b) an increased error percentage in the production of homophones in both the first and second language, (c) a reduction in P200 amplitude in the production of homophones in the second language and (d) an increase in the N400 in the production of homophones in both languages of the bilingual.


Hmm, neuroscientists can be right, but in my experience, or is it only me, there is no difficulty with using or recognizing homophones in two different languages...
For instance "slim" in Dutch ("klug" (clever) in German, and "schlimm" in German ("erg" (bad) in Dutch.
There is a slight difference of pronunciation: sl and schl, but first of all, when I am listening, reading, talking, thinking in German I know very well what "schlimm" is, even without context and wouldn't I suppose not hesitate, at least in my case...perhaps is it because I am from the very childhood exposed to two Flemish dialects and I can still "seamless?" change from one dialect to another and also perhaps because of German, French, English as second languages?
For instance I think I will never make a mistake or hesitation as in the example from the university article between the English "leaf" and the Dutch "lief" (in nowadays Dutch "lief" became "partner" Wink ) at least here in Southern Dutch Wink ...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Fri 23 Nov 2018, 22:32

@Vizzer wrote:
@PaulRyckier wrote:
Equal rights for any living organism...have I to respect the rights of a tree?

In terms of trees then I would certainly say yes (within reason). For every tree cut down then at least 2 of the same genus should be immediately planted. We as the human species, however, are not matching this protocol. In fact we're not even matching it 1 for 1.

In terms of animals then yes again. The aforementioned foie gras, for example, has fallen out of fashion over the last 30 years. And over the last 5 years increasing numbers of countries have brought in outright bans on it. This is because of growing public awareness regarding the cruelty involved in the force-feeding of the birds in question. Some producers claim to produce duck or goose liver without force-feeding but policing and verifying this is difficult. In the meantime the Périgord's loss is Belgium's gain. Pork liver pâté from Brussels or the Ardennes has become de rigueur in British shopping baskets at Christmas time. That is, perhaps, until someone does an exposé on its production ....


Vizzer,

first about "it tickled me"...had to look for it in my Collins dictionary...but had perhaps already a feeling from the connotation as we have in Dutch "tikken" tap, touch...it touched me...but the producing of a laughter I hadn't seen in it...

"In terms of trees then I would certainly say yes (within reason). For every tree cut down then at least 2 of the same genus should be immediately planted. We as the human species, however, are not matching this protocol. In fact we're not even matching it 1 for 1."

Of course you are right, but I am glad that you added "within reason". I wanted to say about the anti-specifists, we as the most evolved "biological beings" on earth, dotted with the highest reasoning brain, have to see that for the survival of our species, we can't cover the earth with our species with the suppression of the rest of the fauna and flora of the world. And as we see it now due to our reasoning that we are poisoning our environment by doing the wrong things...and that use of doing the wrong things is not that easy to reverse...but it is still the reasoning human species, who has to do the steps as that human species is the highest in the "reasoning" ranking...my humble opinion...

"In the meantime the Périgord's loss is Belgium's gain. Pork liver pâté from Brussels or the Ardennes has become de rigueur in British shopping baskets at Christmas time. That is, perhaps, until someone does an exposé on its production ...."

Of course you can guess that that "someone" already exists in Belgium...and someone filmed inside an "abattoir" and the firm had to close it doors for sometime and it had to promise that it would let die the animals in a more "human" Wink  way...and it reopened with monitoring cameras inside, which could be controlled by the food control service.
Vizzer, don't misunderstand me, I don't want any harm to or extermination of animals or fauna, but if the life of a "numan" is concerned vis à vis an animal, one has always, in my humble opinion, to chose for the "human" as the highest ranking in the life on earth...I say it again in my humble opinion...

Of course this is no stuff for MM's dishes thread, but we can always, the same with the language study I made for LiR move the text to another subforum to discuss further...and perhaps you have seen it yet, I am a bit the same as LiR or perhaps worser in my deviations of a subject to at random related discussions...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sat 24 Nov 2018, 22:15

@Meles meles wrote:
@PaulRyckier wrote:
..... eek, poisonous snakes...I once saw a German in Turkey, coming down the hill "as white as a corpse". He said he had stepped on a viper...seemingly without harm...and there seems to be also vipers in MM's neck of the woods...

Since this is at heart a culinary thread, the pedant in me insists that I point out that there are no poisonous snakes - indeed all snakes are perfectly edible (I've eaten rattlesnake). There are however some snakes that are venomous.

But yes the vipers in this neck of the woods are the European asp, Vipera aspis ... indeed I don't think common adders, Vipera berus, range this far south. Asps, despite their somewhat fearsome reputation are actually very small creatures - considerably smaller than most grass snakes or adders, and certainly not big enough to tackle a full-bosomed Cleopatra, even with Marcus Antonius already out of the way. The biggest asp I've ever encountered here was barely 40cm long, rather slim and docile, and just quietly basking in the sun on the door-step. While I know snakes can dis-articulate their lower jaw to enable them to swallow meals larger than their own head, this one would have choked on even the tiniest, most svelte mouse or shrew ... even one that had been working-out and crash-dieting for weeks. Indeed the earth-worms around here, while probably not heavier than the asps, are generally longer (... that's a 300mm/1foot rule):


Meles meles,

"Since this is at heart a culinary thread, the pedant in me insists that I point out that there are no poisonous snakes - indeed all snakes are perfectly edible (I've eaten rattlesnake). There are however some snakes that are venomous."


Has they then to remove the venom "sack" or whatever they call it before further proceeding?
And now I remember, that my father warned me, when he "kuiste" (how do you say "vis kuisen" in English? cleaning fish? gutting? but this is not the total cleaning!) the Pieterman (it is not in my dictionary but I found it on internet: Weever fish
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weever
https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pietermannen
that they had venomenous spines...
But how he removed the spines I don't recall, because both my sister and I were not interested in the fish commerce and its proceedings...


"and certainly not big enough to tackle a full-bosomed Cleopatra"

MM, I see a virtual picture just in front of me...

"While I know snakes can dis-articulate their lower jaw to enable them to swallow meals larger than their own head, this one would have choked on even the tiniest, most svelte mouse or shrew ... even one that had been working-out and crash-dieting for weeks."
MM, that of the dis-articulated lower jaw I didn't know. One learns everyday something new on this board.

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Tue 04 Dec 2018, 14:12

Who else remembers the Christmas song "Gaudete" by Steeleye Span.??

This isn't it:

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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Tue 04 Dec 2018, 21:25

That's funny, Trike, you certainly have an aptitude for finding amusing links and videos.

Paul, I hadn't noticed before that you had commented again on the 'ratty towel'/'ratatouille'.  A few years ago when the "CSI" series (American) were on TV there was a story where someone was murdered by blowfish (which is a Japanese fish I think, though it is eaten in Japan) poison.  I wonder if the weever fish and the blowfish are related.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Fri 07 Dec 2018, 17:51

Weeverfish are actually very tasty and are often used in the Provençale fish stew bouillabaisse. (And yes, Paul, I think weeverfish are indeed what you know, in Dutch, as 'pietermannen').

Obviously when cooking any venomous creature, whether they be Japanese blowfish or American rattlesnake, one usually removes the poison-generating glands along with all the other inedible guts - and in the case of Japanese blowfish (fugu) also the toxin-containing skin, liver, heart and other internal organs. However in the case of weeverfish I'm pretty sure the toxin is rendered completely inactive by heat, and so, barring the usual inedible stomach and intestines, the whole weeverfish can be added into the boiling stew mix without any fear of later poisoning. Soupe aux poissons, which is basically a very rich bouillabaisse seived to remove all the lumps and bones, is a very popular dish here. I make my own using any left-overs from fish or shellfish - heads, bones, skin, shells, carapaces or whatevers - all boiled up together with tomato, onion and garlic. It's very tasty - and cheap. It is usually served with freshly-made croutons, aioli (garlic mayonaise) and grated cheese (eg gruyère or emmental), all served separately for the diner to add as they wish.

Incidentally further to the discussion about the word 'aspic' and the edibility of asps and vipers ... the word 'weever' in English, as in weeverfish (which is often incorrectly spelled weaverfish) derives from the old French wivre, meaning a serpent, from the Latin vipera. In modern French a weeverfish is called simply un vive. 

And seeing how Paul appreciates random animal facts: weeverfish are rather unusual in not having swim bladders, and so they are unlike most other bony fish. As a result they cannot control their buoyancy and will sink to the bottom as soon as they actively stop swimming. Just as well then that they mostly spend their lives, half-submerged in the sand, at the bottom of the sea.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sat 08 Dec 2018, 11:09

The boiling stew rendering the toxin harmless (in the instance of the weever fish) makes sense, MM.  I suppose it depends on the toxin - my understanding is that doesn't work for toadstool poison.  I have to say I don't fancy the idea of eating snakes even if I wasn't a vegetarian, though I guess a lot depends on  where one lives, disposable income etc.  If I lived in a desert area where not much grew but there was a multitude of serpents in the area maybe things would be different - let's hope I never have to find out.  I hated 'aspic' or gelatinous foods even before I turned vegetarian.  As for mistakes with homonyms, I've made mistakes even in my own language.  At one time I used to think that the "synoptic" as in the gospels meant synonymous but of course it doesn't.  Nordmann's referral to a "syllogism" recently (another thread) made me check the word.  I HAD known what it meant but forgotten - it's a sort of specious argument but that's much too simple a description really.

My breakfast was the leftovers of some (gluten free) macaroni cheese from yesterday and toasted crumpets but I'm not going to state how they are made!!!! They were ready-made crumpets - not as if I made them myself.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sat 08 Dec 2018, 12:41

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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sat 08 Dec 2018, 22:24

@Meles meles wrote:
Weeverfish are actually very tasty and are often used in the Provençale fish stew bouillabaisse. (And yes, Paul, I think weeverfish are indeed what you know, in Dutch, as 'pietermannen').

Obviously when cooking any venomous creature, whether they be Japanese blowfish or American rattlesnake, one usually removes the poison-generating glands along with all the other inedible guts - and in the case of Japanese blowfish (fugu) also the toxin-containing skin, liver, heart and other internal organs. However in the case of weeverfish I'm pretty sure the toxin is rendered completely inactive by heat, and so, barring the usual inedible stomach and intestines, the whole weeverfish can be added into the boiling stew mix without any fear of later poisoning. Soupe aux poissons, which is basically a very rich bouillabaisse seived to remove all the lumps and bones, is a very popular dish here. I make my own using any left-overs from fish or shellfish - heads, bones, skin, shells, carapaces or whatevers - all boiled up together with tomato, onion and garlic. It's very tasty - and cheap. It is usually served with freshly-made croutons, aioli (garlic mayonaise) and grated cheese (eg gruyère or emmental), all served separately for the diner to add as they wish.

Incidentally further to the discussion about the word 'aspic' and the edibility of asps and vipers ... the word 'weever' in English, as in weeverfish (which is often incorrectly spelled weaverfish) derives from the old French wivre, meaning a serpent, from the Latin vipera. In modern French a weeverfish is called simply un vive. 

And seeing how Paul appreciates random animal facts: weeverfish are rather unusual in not having swim bladders, and so they are unlike most other bony fish. As a result they cannot control their buoyancy and will sink to the bottom as soon as they actively stop swimming. Just as well then that they mostly spend their lives, half-submerged in the sand, at the bottom of the sea.


Meles meles,

thank you very much for the additional information about the weeverfish.Excuses for the delay, the whole evening the turmoil in our national government with a stalemate between the Flemish Nationalist coalition partner and the rest of the government over the UN migration pact. I think Thursday a pro Marrakech resolution in the parliament with an alternative majority of more than two thirds with the opposition voting with that rest of the government. Some two minutes ago press conference of our Prime Minister, changing the government with the Flemish nationalists out of the government, de facto the Flemisn nationalists no part of the government anymore. And taht is no good news for the coming elections, with a Flemish regional government perhaps dominated with the far right Flemish nationalists and the less hardline Flemish Nationalists now out of the national government. If this soft line nationalists join with the hardline of the Vlaams Belang in the Flemish regional parliament...back to the Thirties with the VNV? And Steve Bannon was here today with Marine Le Pen...
https://www.politico.eu/article/steve-bannon-in-brussels-un-migration-pact-already-dead/
https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2018/12/03/vlaams-belang-strikt-steve-bannon-en-marine-le-pen-voor-spoedmee/


I look further now to the latest news just started.

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sat 08 Dec 2018, 23:25

Yes Meles meles, as said a Liberal/Christian-Democrat minority government now till the elections of May...

But back to the weeverfish...
From other Dutch language information about the "pieterman" I read that the poison is detoriated by heat, in fact if one has a "sting?" a hit? of a weeverfish one has to bath in hot water as hot as bearable. And I read also that most "pricks?" happen by walking in undeep water, while the fish is digged in  just under the sand surface, nearly indistinguishable. And they mentioned also that before buying weeverfish it is better to let the fishmerchant remove the head and the skin to not have bad surprizes. And I think it was that that my father did in the time. But I agree if you can handle the fish and knows where to take the fish for not hitting the poison, you can put it in boiling water and then neutralize the poison. Putting in boiling water has my mother had to do with life lobsters, because that was the best way for cooking. Not sure if the animal liberation front nowadays...

Thanks again MM for all the at random information, you are really a fountain of knowledge...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sun 09 Dec 2018, 13:49

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
The boiling stew rendering the toxin harmless (in the instance of the weever fish) makes sense, MM.  I suppose it depends on the toxin - my understanding is that doesn't work for toadstool poison. 

Fungi are a bit different, which is hardly surprising as they are neither animals nor plants and so have their own distinct chemistry. But yes in general the toxins in 'poisonous' mushrooms, such as 'fly agarics', 'destroying angels', or 'liberty caps' (aka magic mushrooms), and others, are not usually disactivated by heat/cooking.

At the same time however, quite a few 'edible' mushrooms can provoke bad reactions, at least in some people, when not cooked or not dried, before consumption. Very few mushrooms are considered completely safe to eat raw ... just off the top of my head, of the common ones, only field mushrooms, ceps (some species only), chanterelles and caesar mushrooms are completely safe to eat uncooked. Of course if you ever ate one of the other 'edible-but-should-be-cooked-first' mushrooms, raw, you won't actually be 'deadly poisoned' but you might might suffer an unpleasant upset stomach. Then again there are some 'edible' mushrooms that, even when cooked, only some people react to, a bit like an allergic reaction. And there are others that only seem to cause problems if you have eaten a certain something else at the same time - the most common one here is drinking alcohol at the same time - which seems to cause a bad reaction with some otherwise edible mushrooms, eg ink-caps and maybe parasols, but again it seems to affect some people only.

I generally dry most of the ceps and morilles I collect; cook immediately (parasols, ink-caps and ceps); or sauté and then freeze most others, such as chanterelles/girolles, pied-de-moutons, wood blewits, or trompettes de la mort (which despite the name are perfectly edible and very tasty). I never serve mushrooms I've collected myself or been given by others to any guests, but should they want to eat what they've found in the woods here, then they have to identify and cook their finds themselves ... I might venture an opinion but I never tell anyone if their finds are good or not. Although if they then cautiously abandon their harvest I'm quite happy to sort through the discards and rescue any choice finds ... but again only for my own consumption and at my own risk.
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