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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

ABUBILLA - WITH RECIPE FOR SMALL FRIED BIRDS- PERFECT HOR D'OURVES

Photo by: Karine Auger

OCast. habudilla, L. Upupa epops, Eng. hoopoe. To Spanish it was named “little bub.” To Anglo Saxons, it sings, “burp, burp, burp,” although that has nothing to do with the bird’s English name. Perhaps the hoopoe’s Spanish and English names indicate that it is bi-lingual. Avenzoar said that he who takes feathers or the tongue of a hoopoe will be successful in business. Villena lists the meat as medicinal as it was thought that if one ate the meat it would sharpen the mind. The Old Testament (Deuteronomy) states that the bird was forbidden for the Jews for being dirty. As the hoopoe is 7 ½” or 15 cm long, a medium sized bird, it was served at banquets with its coat of feathers placed over it after roasting as the peacock and the swan. The next time the menu includes hoopoe perhaps it should be seriously considered for its tongue. Don’t forget to ask for a few feathers too. [ES: Sevilla, G. Sep 24, 2010; Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:124; and Villena/Brown. 1984:84:54]

*small fried birds – perfect hor dourves

RECIPE FOR SMALL FRIED BIRDS - PERFECT HOR D'OURVES
adapted from Birds. “Fried Birds.” Author: Marcelo Pesjovich. Recipe in the Gran Libro de la Cocina Aragonesa and El Periódico de Aragon. "Recetas de Cocina." Oct 1, 11.


Ingredients

Photo by: ssour
16 small birds (swallows, larks, linnets, ortolan buntings ... -  any small birds a hunter might catch or shoot - hoopoes included)
2 lbs lard
salt
pepper

For a sweet and sour sauce:
1 tbsp sugar
juice from 1 lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation

Remove the feathers and clean the birds. Heat a frying pan, add lard and fry them.

Prepare the sauce: put all the ingredients into a pan and heat. When the sugar is dissolved, add the broth little by little. Stir until all is well mixed and pour into a bowl to serve as a dip with the birds.

*In 1990 it became illegal to hunt small birds in Spain curtailing public sale in taverns but that does not include occasional mistakes or cat hunters that like rewarding their owners. The recipe comes from the Spanish Medieval Chef watching Cordobeans preparing them prior to 1990.

2 comments:

  1. On 1 Nov 2010 Charlie write: "Abubilla or hoopoe is also the origin of the expression "cloud cuckoo land" a translation of some lines in the hoopoe's song in Aristophanes' The Birds, as translated for a 19th Century Yale student production."

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  2. Wikipedia explains, “Cloud Cuckoo Land refers to an unrealistically idealistic state where everything is perfect. ("You're living in Cloud Cuckoo Land.") It hints that the person referred to is naïve, unaware of reality or deranged in holding such an optimistic belief.”
    Just think to achieve that all you need is a feather or two!

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