Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Distinctly American Meats

Yesterday's Inauguration lunch featured truly American meats such as pheasant and duck (although these are also found in Europe). This country has a lot of game that has been popular rover our four hundred year history . We've dined on wild turkey and terrapin, sold raccoon and squirrel in our 19th century meat markets, and made chili out of just about any meat we could find. America may be known to embrace foreign dishes but we also love our native meats as well.

Pheasants are primarily found in Asia . How they got to America is anyone's guess, probably crossing over from the land bridge that is now the Bering Strait. They are a small gamy bird, consisting of more bones than meat. Most recipes call for roasting them ,preferably with some kind of juice such as orange or lemon. They can also be sauteed in a port wine. As with any fowl, pheasant meat can be versatile. it can be made into nuggets (tiny) or as a base for a savory pot pie. You can do pheasant wings a la Buffalo style or pan fry the breast meat.

Duck , the other meat served on yesterday, is an American classic. It has been served since our precolonial days by the indigenous peoples of North America. Luckily ,almost every ethnic group that has settled here has duck on their menu. We can enjoy a Peking style or duck a l'orange. It's also good to serve with wild rice and mushrooms for a more American flair. Luckily for foodies it is more readily and more widely available in supermarkets.

America is known for a lot of good food. It should also be recognized for its' variety of distinct meats that have graced tables for four hundred years.

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