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Friday, May 11, 2012


Owl cake
(with a head anyone would eat!)
Photo from: neviepiecakes

owl. Avenzoar related that if the head is consumed it would sharpen the vision. [Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:125]


  1. This is such a pretty owl it should be a pity to eat it!

    The idea of eating an owl's head to improve vision sounds rather as simpathethic magic: similar objects should produce similar efects. An interesting point of contact between magic, alchemy and cooking. Things were not so separated those days and even today this kind of thinking can be descried not only in Asia (the famous tiger balm or rhinoceron horn) but in Latin America (just walk about any popular market and look at the traditional remedies).

    1. Eating owl's head to prove that point is not high on my list. If I ask my ophthalmologist, he will blow me out the door doubled over in laughter. On the other hand, I do not pity owls. In summer, they fly into empty lands around inhabited areas such as my parent's house. The tones of their screams drive the cats, at least, crazy. If the cat is running free, he will venture out not knowing that he is the prey not the other way around. The owl catches our kitty in his claws and flies him to his dining table for his feast. Fortunately, although my cats go crazy with the noise, so far I have caught them before they offered themselves up. I would not be surprised is the owls use Nola's recipe for beating and burying them to make their meat more tender. See blog titled "azotarlo."
      Love your comments - you really make people thing!

  2. This could be a nice plot for a baroque novel or comedy, Quevedo or Cervantes' style! Instead of the gatomaquia or fight between cats and mouses, the "buhomaquia" between owls and cats!
    In any case, owls are now endangered especies and there are so many kinds, from the tiny and cute "mochuelo" to the impressive "buho real", as big as an eagle or more. From someyears "medieval fairs" have become very popular in Spain specially in summer, and there is usually an exhibition of live prey birds and "cetrería" which include many of the birds you have written about, as eagles, falcons and also owls.