It's the time of year.
"La chasse" is going to open very shortly, in France anyway, and of course there will be, as usual, some tragic accidents.
It's amazing really, hunters are allowed to go wandering through the vineyards with loaded hunting rifles whilst poor people are still picking grapes. It's a guarantee for bad things - yearly!
Well - there's nothing we can do about it, except try to miss the lead shot, and possibly get hold of a reasonably undamaged piece of game meat.
Here is a link to a competition (in French) to present your "Game recipes" and maybe win something.....http://www.recettes-de-chasse.com/
Game is a strictly limited subject, limited in when you can get it, where you can get it, and IF you can get it, so if you are fortunate enough, don't spoil or waste it! After all, these beasts are mainly quite magnificent creatures, the hunters and the Governments tell us that they MUST be "culled" (legally slaughtered) - personally I'm not too sure, but they are culled, so wastage must not be permitted.
Because many of them are beasts which are basically wild, they can be subject to certain dangers. The most recent case is from Berlin in Germany, where reports of "over population" are coming through...it seems these little things are ruining the countryside close to the German Capital and must be "number controlled" (a nice way of saying - slaughtered).
The only problem is that they are also still suffering from the effects of a thing called "Tschernobyl" - the Russian Nuclear plant that exploded.
Strangely enough, the nuclear cloud didn't stop at the Russian borders, but covered most of Europe in some way or other. In France, it was particularly funghi (mushrooms) which were concerned, and some game animals. The effects are not nice, and are long lasting...... Of course, we are assured that any game meat offered has been strictly controlled, but I'm not too sure about the controls done by most French hunters (chasseurs), and I would only recommend buying or accepting, meat from some officially controlled source. The problem there is that the animals are mainly breeded, and have become practically "domesticated", they no longer eat what their ancestors ate, so their taste is no longer the same.
Difficult, difficult, because why cull the real wild animals but be unable to consume them?
It is exactly for the difference in taste that game is so famous, and if that is no longer present, where is the point in paying hefty prices?
I recall the other problem, particularly in France. The hunters are a "devoted" bunch, devoted mainly to the pleasure of killing, and I recall seeing a neighbour being proud of the fact that he had managed to shoot down a tiny bird which fitted in the palm of his hand, and - when asked what he was going to do with it, replied that first of all he would try and kill another 3 or 4, to have enough for a portion on his plate!
The fact that the bird itself was so full of lead pellets that it was almost unrecognizable and the fact that most of his other lead pellets had gone zipping off into the wide blue yonder - endangering anything in the area (human or otherwise) - obviously was not going to deter his activities!
I have broken a tooth or two on lead pellets in game bird meats, and of course it is poisonous! The taste is also quite disgusting, and invades the meat in question. If you like eating lead pencils, then please do so, but you're not going to pay a fortune to do so - are you?
Of course, there are some marvellous game recipes, and most of them can be used with normal meat supplies, so why not try them?
Of course, the time of year also points to the upcoming "madness" - "Beujolais Nouveau" or "Primeur".
Right here in my area, it isn't the first new wine of the year, the local Languedoc wines bring out a "Primeur" towards the end of this month of October, and it's always worth trying.
There will be an article, specially prepared, on the subject of "Primeurs" later on, so - keep popping back in.....You're welcome!
Now - go get your bows and arrows.......
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