|"How'd you like me cooked, doc?"|
After my first report in 2006, the paper's chefs gave bunnies a rest (I like to think). But in the past year or so its pages have once again hosted an appalling glut of bunny recipes - more so than in any other British newspaper.
Please remember a bunny is basically a vegetarian cat. Its fur is soft and silky, its ears velvety strokable. It's super-cute - ask any child actor seeking a huge fan base.
Here's the selected Indy indictment:
Rabbit with new-season garlic, artichokes and white beans (Mar 14, 2010): Something called Skye Gyngell loves farmed flopsies for their mild flavour and suggests you feast on them just because artichokes are in season. He advises that you get your butcher to cut the corpse into sixths - or 666s as I prefer.
Wild rabbit in green sauce (April 3, 2010): Unlike Skye, Mark Hix hates farmed bunnies and prefers 'em wild and tangy: "Wild rabbits have such a good flavour but they rarely get used today, which is a great shame, because there are so many of them and they need to be culled." The green sauce looks like Shrek after a blender accident.
Fried duck egg with rabbit offal and spring leeks (Apr 3, 2010): Hix suggests celebrating Christ's crucifixion by adding the entrails and internal organs of a bunny to a sunny side up egg. He also wants you to "toss the leeks" - a practice Madame Arcati cannot condone.
Minor British Institutions: The British Giant rabbit (June 26, 2010): No recipe, but the author exemplifies the Indy's attitude to all things bunny. We are told satirically that "The British Rabbit Council ... is not made up of buck-toothed rodents." Lamentable. In any case, the rabbit is not a rodent but a lagomorph.
Whipped potato with rabbit and wild mushrooms (Nov 27, 2010): Hix again, who mentions a Moscow visit as an excuse to moan about a lack of mushrooms there. The idea is to balance bunny fillets on a mash potato mountain, which reminds me of Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind whose disturbed character also builds mash potato mountains. His excuse is extra-terrestrial suggestion.
Wild and wonderful: Isn't it time to stop being squeamish and tuck into rabbit? (Dec 9, 2010): The Indy now tries to desensitise its readers to the horrible biz of murdering Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail. Sabre-toothed Clare Hargreaves is unleashed on Britain's bunny warrens for a spot of mass slaughter just before Christmas. "Lack of demand for rabbit meat has meant it attracts a pitiful price," she moans against trend. She then interviews a man draped with bunny corpses who "supplied 100 rabbits for a 'wild' wedding reception." I expect to see Mr & Mrs Leatherface in the divorce court soon enough.
Memories of rabbit dinners (Dec 20, 2010): A reader called Sara Neill of Tunbridge Wells confirms my impression that the Indy is a bubbling cauldron of bunny fat. She rhapsodises on rabbit meat and affectionately recalls, of her childhood in the 40s, "the sight of the poor bloodied furry corpses hanging in bundles in every butcher’s shop." Even her cat "had a fresh rabbit’s 'scut' to play with every few days." Presumably not called scutnip.
Wild things: Why foodies are hunting for game (Jan 6, 2011): Big cats are rumoured to roam the British countryside and are not to be confused with Clare Hargreaves. There's nothing with a wild pulse she won't stalk and eat: lock up your pet chinchillas! Rabbits are "tasty and economical" she drools. And squirrel "tastes a bit like rabbit.". It makes you want to believe in reincarnation.
My first piece on the Indy and bunnies, click here.