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Trends in all things edible do come
The Culinary History of Food
notes that Europeans developed a new taste for vegetables round about the
second half of the 16th century. As the number of plant species served at
“better tables” increased, the number of animal species decreased, with animals
such as cormorants, storks, swans, cranes, bitterns, spoonbills, herons,
peacocks, whales, seals and porpoises disappearing from cookbooks and from
markets, thank goodness some naturalists would say. One exception was scoters,
those large black diving ducks with the fancy, bright orange bills you can see
plying the waters of our coast in winter. Despite their obvious bird-like
attributes, such as feathers, these were classified as “fish” by the church and
as such were deemed suitable for Lent for a considerable time.
Glenda Bartosh is an award-winning
freelance writer who finally saw her first spoonbill in Costa Rica, thankfully
not in a pot.