Thursday, September 3, 2009
When I was in elementary school (my first one) in East York, our class had a rabbit named Cinnamon that we raised in the closed area outside our classroom. He was brown and fat, and the laziest thing I've ever seen. If you were good, you got to spend 15 minutes towards the end of class outside to play with him. Problem was, Cinnamon never got out of his little wood house. I remember we used to lift the house to get him out, even though we were explicitly told never to do so. Good times.
Many years later, on a trip to some of the smaller cities south of Shanghai, we were presented with a local dish. The heads of 3 local animals, one of which was rabbit. Rabbit head doesn't have much meat, just the skull and protruding front teeth. The brain matter was considered a delicacy. No one at the table wanted to touch it, so I ate all 3. The brain was surprisingly palatable. Creamy, with a texture almost like foie gras. But I only truly discovered the joys of eating rabbit in Nice. Pan-seared, seasoned very simply. The spiciness and gaminess of the meat really show, and it was just fantastically delicious. Arousingly flavoursome.
St. Lawrence Market occasionally has whole rabbit on sale. I learned how to butcher it - front legs, hind legs, loin, and internal organs. The bones are wonderful to make a rabbit stock. Delicious, and I can't wait to try again.
I'm reminded because the other night, I had a debate with my mother. We were talking about my dream of growing my own tomatoes and she was telling me that rabbits would eat everything. I wondered if we could trap it, and she countered with, 'There's no way you could possibly kill a living rabbit.'
I think she might be right. How can you hold a quivering, warm, furry rabbit and then proceed to crack it's neck? No, I'm not man enough. I'll buy mine, skinned and wrapped.