Hedgehogs @ €600

When they were detained by the Médoc gendarmes, Georges and Frédéric had the grave misfortune to have in their possession a sack containing ten succulent little bundles of spines. Turning its face from all that the British cherish in France, the criminal court in Bordeaux put animal protection above lavish family meals and fined these “travellers” a total of €6,000. Their lawyer, Me Joinau-Dumail, mounted a traditionalist defence, suggesting that this was a somewhat excessive price per kilo.

In his piece Pierre-Marie Lemaire refers to a diversity of taste that leads some to consume oursins, sea urchins. In one of the many interesting nuggets in Les miserables Victor Hugo writes of Paris, where “Grimod de la Reyniere discovered larded roast beef, as Curtillus invented roast hedgehog”, hérisson rôti. I think that Curtillus was actually cooking sea hedgehog, but I doubt he would have faced any problems either way.

I have never eaten hedgehog, roasted, grilled or stewed, but the thought intrigues.

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