Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘game birds’

Best Food Photo of the Year

The Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year for 2016 has been announced. There were 7,000 images from around the world competing for top honors. It must be hungry work judging all those photos!

This is the first place winner – an action photo of a baker in a flour explosion.img_7449a-02-Feb-16

Do you love food – and photos of it? Have a look at the finalists. It’s not all food porn; there are markets, agriculture, animals, people eating, wine photos and more. Here are a few that we liked.

This pic from the Food Sn-apping category – any food photo, taken anytime on a mobile device – was highly commended by the judges.  A table full of poultry and meats? Could be our office.  Also, extra points for all the barding (wrapping lean meat with bacon) depicted.

miriam_ni-27-Jan-16

First place in the Food for the Family category went to this photo from Croatia. We would like to be invited to this picnic. Look at the basket, real glasses and red wine, plus a sumptuous spread of meats, fruit, sandwiches … and is that a pomegranate? Nicely done.

picnic-07-Feb-16

This Peruvian photo got high commendations in Food Adventures category. Lovely lady butchers at work, breaking down primal cuts at the market – we like it!perumarke-20-Jan-16

Highly commended among Food in the Field photos, this mushroom pic is simply stunning in its level of detail.  Elegance, mystery and beauty – that’s the world of fungi.pink_lady-28-Aug-15

Check out this photo by Jasper Callis in the Young (11-14) category. This young man snapped this brace of pheasants at a hunt in the UK, a scene we appreciate because we offer Scottish game birds just like these during the season.

finished_-07-Feb-16

There is also a Food in Film category, so have a look at the finalists – you may find your next Netflix choice there.

If you take photos of your culinary adventures with D’Artagnan products, be sure to share with us! Tag @dartagnanfoods on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram so we can see your food photos and applaud your efforts.

What is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo diet has been coming out of the cave and into the mainstream over the past few years. This return to pre-agricultural eating has its detractors and supporters, like any dietary trend. But in a world where people seem to be eating themselves to death with processed foods, the Paleo Diet encourages a return to real foods that our primal ancestors would have eaten. If it’s a trend, it’s the oldest one around.

Dr. Loren Cordain, Phd., who is the founder of the Paleolithic movement, and in fact coined the term “Paleo Diet,” explains the simple premise of the Paleo lifestyle.

evolve-1024x514

At the most basic, a Paleo lifestyle returns us to our ancestral diet – what we would have hunted and gathered: meats, fish, greens, fruits, seeds and nuts. It’s an unusual diet in that it bucks many established verities, such as the dangers of saturated fats and the desirability of grains. Humans in the Paleolithic era would not have counted calories, or found any low-fat, processed diet foods in the store. Intent on survival, they would have eaten all the saturated fats and nutrient-dense foods they could get their hands on.

Read more

All About Quail

Quail is a collective name for several genera of small, plump birds in the pheasant family. Species or subspecies of the genus Coturnix are native to all continents except the Americas.

The Pharaoh, or Coturnix coturnix, quail are of Eurasian stock (found in Asia, Africa and Europe), and are migratory upland birds that travel in large bevies of up to a hundred. The small birds are physically unable to fly long distances. Instead, they shoot forth in a straight line at low altitudes, leaping from one stopping point to the next, crossing arid wasteland, rivers, or swamps. Often they exhaust themselves in the process, dropping to the ground virtually unable to move. From a hunter’s perspective, their straight flight and easy fatigue make them simple prey.

This behavior gives rise to the belief that it was hordes of the common quail (Coturnix coturnix Japonica), called selav, or “plump one,” in Hebrew, that saved the Israelites wandering in the wilderness after leaving Egypt. Was this the God-sent miracle or manna mentioned in Exodus and Numbers? The birds certainly could have been traveling in their annual migration. As late as the turn of the last century, Egyptian bird catchers still exported more than 2 million quail a year to European chefs.

European, Japanese, and rain quail of southern Asia belong to the same family, Phasianidae, of the order of Galliformes. They are classified as Coturnix. Wild quail are not the same breed, although they are Galliformes.

When early settlers arrived in what is now the northeastern United States, they encountered birds about the same size and coloring as the quail they had known in the Old World, and misnamed them. To complicate matters, the bobwhite quail (so called for the male’s loud whistle) was known as a partridge in the South. Among quail found in America are the bobwhite, Gambel’s quail, mountain quail, and Montezuma quail.

Though technically a game bird, quail that is available in stores will always be from a quail farm. If you want wild quail, you’ll have to hunt it yourself. Over the last 25 years, farmed quail has become more widely available in the United States. It was not always so. When Ariane Daguin founded D’Artagnan in 1985 quail were harder to find, and usually ended up at white-tablecloth restaurants. But thankfully, today quail is being prepared in many home kitchens.

Cooking
Few game birds are as versatile, simple to cook, and easy to enjoy as quail. These plump, juicy birds should be the basis for “Game 101,” because they make everyone – from novices to professionals – look like a champion. Grilled, broiled, or sautéed, they’re almost impossible to ruin. The medium-dark flesh has a mildly gamey flavor that readily takes to being marinated, stuffed, or highly seasoned. They are small, so allow one quail per person for an hors d’oeuvre, and at least 2per person for an entrée. Because they are lean, they need to be cooked quickly over high heat and served medium rare to retain their moisture and flavor.