Step aside, turducken. 2013 is all about far weirder Franken-feasts, and these have historical antecedents to boot.
The Atlantic bring us the story of the cockentrice, a totally frightening chimerical creature created by sewing the top half of a suckling pig onto the bottom half of a capon or turkey. The above illustrated recreation was made by culinary "experimental historian" Richard Fitch.
The good people of early modern Europe, roughly the period from 1500-1800, had their own peccadilloes. And one of those was sewing together chimerical animals and then eating them... The specimen above is called a cockentrice (or cockentryce). It is, quite literally, a pig's upper body sewn onto a turkey bottom. The recipe for it dates from the 15th-century, although it was known to be made in later years.
Such stunt-food creations, of course, have contemporary equivalents, though modern tastes tend to shy away from looking at animal heads and feet and such on the dinner table. And everyone is likely feeling squeamish about the obvious sewing that had to happen here, especially if they've been watching American Horror Story.
As for the turducken, which is a deboned turkey stuffed with a duck that's been stuffed with a chicken (or vice versa in some cases), that is mere child's play when compared to the Rôti Sans Pareil, the "Roast Without Equal." You ready for this? Delicious History explains:
[The Rôti Sans Pareil] was created by 19th century French gastronomist Grimod de la Reynière. This testament to human will consisted of seventeen birds that were stuffed in the following order:
- Guinea Fowl
- Giant Bustard
Feeling ambitious this Thanksgiving? Anyone know where we can score a giant bustard?