François Mitterand covets cooked Ortlan Bunting. According to the New York Times, the former president of France is not alone. Who knew? French foodies consume the head, bones and body of the disappearing songbird in one gratuitously gluttonous mouthful, usually while covering their down-turned heads with napkins.
The veil may conceal what even to them is a morally unsavory indulgence. The E.U. has tried feebly to protect the bird from human consumption. However a black market flourishes. The Ortolan weighs less than an ounce. They eat seeds – and insects while feeding nestlings. When captured, they are force fed, drowned in brandy and roasted. The Ortolan is our pick for a beautiful songbird. You can find them on tours of Europe and western Asia.