Below is a page of Dumas’ great cookbook Petit Dictionnaire De Cuisine (French Edition):
The full recipe goes something like:
“ELEPHANT: Let the reader be unafraid. He is not condemned to eat a whole elephant. But next time he finds himself in possession of the trunk or feet of an elephant, we ask him to prepare them as we shall indicate, and let us know how he likes them.
“Today Cochin China is probably the only country where elephants are eaten, and their flesh is considered a great delicacy there. When the king has one killed for his table, he sends pieces to his grandees as a mark of special favor. But the parts that are most esteeemed are the trunk and feet. Levaillant says that they make an exquisite dish. ‘The broiled feet,’ he adds, ‘are a dish for a king. I could not have imagined that so heavy an animal could provide so delicate a dish. I gobbled up my elephant’s foot without bread!’
“We are indebted for the following recipe to M. Duglerez of the House of Rothschild:
“Take 1 or more feet of young elephant, skin them, and bone them after soaking in warm water for 4 hours. Cut them into 4 pieces lengthwise and one across. Parboil for 15 minutes. Dip in fresh water and dry with a cloth.
“On the bottom of a heavy pan with a tight lid put two slices of Bayonne ham, then your pieces of elephant foot, then 4 onions, a head of garlic, some Indian aromatic spices, 1/2 a bottle of Madeira, and 3 ladlefuls of bouillon. Cover tightly and simmer for ten hours. Remove the fat. Add one glass of port and 50 little green pimentos blanched in boiling water to preserve their color.
“The sauce should be well flavored and very sharp.”
According to Dumas’ research, the Vietnamese (Cochin China) were the only ones to eat (Asian) elephants. I really don’t know how to react to the recipe… It is what it is? And why would the Vietnamese use Indian spices if they have so much of their own? So confused… If Americans (especially those Oriental Americans) are ready to embrace horse meat again, this elephant recipe (seeing they aren’t “companion animals”) shouldn’t be too shocking?
Except, look at this cute “babeh elephant“:
In other news, Groupon is rocking an endangered Kyochon coupon today. You have a few more hours to get one until it’s “extinct”. Wow. That was painful. Sorry. Enough animal puns.
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