“…poultry is for the cook what canvas is for the painter.” – Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
In honor of Vegas Uncork’d beginning today, ELV thought a few tasty snaps of the other-worldly guineahen (aka pintade) — served to him at and by Guy Savoy last year — were in order. In keeping with tradition, we will be dining avec Mon. Savoy again this year — tonight as a matter of fact — and are licking our chops in anticipation.
Whether he will serve us another gallina farona (the Italian name – “pharaoh’s hen”) is unknown (and we’d be perfectly happy if he did), but in honor of last year’s meal, and to celebrate the fifth year of Vegas’ most celebratory gourmet food festival, here are a few fun food facts about this obscure-yet-tasty bird:
> Waverly Root (writing in the 1970s) described it as the most flavorful of all barnyard fowl.
> Their tiny heads resemble those of vultures.
> It’s slightly darker white meat, retains a hint of wild gaminess and has often been compared to pheasant.
> Although domesticated, they enjoy roosting in the top most branches of the tallest trees, and are shot down from such elevated perches as sport by farmers in Southwestern France.
> They are the noisiest of all domesticated fowl, probably because the plumage from male to female is almost identical, and they need to keep yakking to distinguish themselves.
> Thomas Jefferson raised them, and was particularly fond of their flesh.
> Because the first ones were imported from North Africa, the Romans considered them a rare and exotic delicacy.
> They got their name from the Portuguese, who started importing them to France from Guinea in West Africa (which it controlled), in the 16th Century.
All this research has given ELV a hankerin’ for a dinner most fowl tonight…but whatever Restaurant Guy Savoy is serving, we’re sure it will be spectacular.
RESTAURANT GUY SAVOY
In Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino
3570 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109