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Southern France
Lynn Deasy is a freelance writer, author, foodie, and garden tinkerer. She lives in a 600 year old house in southern France with her husband, Christophe. Currently, she is looking for a literary agent for her memoir CA VA? STORIES FROM RURAL LIFE IN SOUTHERN FRANCE which examines the oddities of French provincial living from an outsider’s point of view through a series of adventures that provide more than a fair share of frustration, education, admiration, and blisters…. yes, lots and lots of blisters. Lynn blogs every Monday, Wednesday, and sometimes Friday.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Le Lapin or Rabbit

Rabbit flambé with Cognac, port-shallot sauce, and mâche-roquette springtime salad

I know, rabbit is not a popular dish in the United States; in fact, most people refuse to try it or look away in disgust.  I’m certain I’m making some people wince at this moment, but rabbit is popular in France and considered to be refined and delicate, and the truth is, it is quite good.

Quite often, we distance ourselves from our food sources, eating things like boneless-skinless chicken breasts, and forget about the origins of what is on our plate; however, when presented with just the idea of rabbit, many revert back to an image of a fluffy bunny and declare it is much too cute to be served on a plate.  I disagree; I think we need to know our food sources. I’m also an omnivore and I’m willing to try almost anything.

For years, I thought I did not like rabbit.  I used to work at a French restaurant, and it was horrible.  It was Sunday’s plat du jour and I couldn’t wholehearted sell it, even to those who claimed to like rabbit.  It was gamey, had a chewy texture, and there just seemed to be something off about it.  My instincts were right because I’ve never tasted rabbit like that since. Now, I really like rabbit and it marks a meal as a little more special than average.  Christophe has a wide range of recipes he pulls out of his head and each respects its delicate nature.  Rabbit can be easily overcooked, rendering the meat dry and uneatable, but when cooked correctly, it is flavorful, elegant, and sublime.  In fact, it is not gamely at all; it is quite mild, light, and is even more dietetic than chicken.

Christophe’s grandfather used to raise rabbits, so it’s rooted in his culinary history.  I think there is something to be learned about being close to our foods sources from this example.  No one, including children, ever cringed when rabbit was served.  In fact, they loved it.  This proximity heightens the respect for what is on the plate, how it got there, and the work involved in raising or growing it.  I don’t pass judgment on how others eat; I too eat a boneless-skinless chicken breast from time to time, and not everything in my pantry is organic or healthy.  I do know at least what I am eating and why, and that should be our concise choice.

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