All Ducks go to Heaven


After 18 years as a vegetarian, I’ve started eating meat again.  Why?  Mostly, it’s because I love food – I love eating, I love cooking, I love shopping for food.  Food for me is definitely one of the great pleasures in life.  That’s not to say you can’t eat well as a vegetarian; I did for many years without feeling I was missing out on anything.  Eventually though, I think it came down to the fact that I wanted to try something new.  The more I’ve become interested in food, the more I realize that there are endless flavours and textures that a meat free diet can’t provide.  I’ve also realized that times have changed and it’s now much easier to make ethical choices when buying meat – although, that sounds like a whole other post in itself.

So, you might wonder, what would be the first meat you’d want to try after so many years?  Would it be something you’d ease into with a small bite of chicken, or a taste of someone’s burger?  No, not if you’re friends with Mark Busse.  When Mark heard that my husband Edan and I were thinking about taking the plunge, he enthusiastically offered to make us our first meal, or “pop our vegetarian cherries”, as he put it.  After much animated discussion, we decided on duck – something neither of us had ever eaten.  There was no going back from there…

foie-gras-quince-jamA couple of weeks later Edan and I arrived chez Busse, we were greeted with cocktails at the door and a plate of delicious looking hors d’oeurves waiting to be sampled…mmmm, what’s this?  we asked…and here it is:  After 18 years meat-free, the first thing to hit my palate was foie gras on toast with homemade quince jam.  Wow!  It was spectacularly smooth, rich and extremely complex (with just a hint of ironic controversy!).  The taste seem completely foreign, yet strangely familiar – like the equivalent of muscle memory for taste buds.

duckOur main course was a brand new taste sensation – duck breast with a cherry reduction, served with the creamiest squash risotto and crunchy green beans.  I was completely suprised at how dark and rich and meaty the duck was!  For some reason, I had imagined it was going to be like I had remembered chicken.  That was definitely not the case and we were thrilled to be trying something for the first time ever.  I must admit, I didn’t finish all of my duck (turns out meat is quite filling!), that wasn’t a problem though – it was so good that there was almost a fight over who got what was left on my plate.

Everything was perfect that night, and I wouldn’t change a thing – amazing food prepared lovingly by good friends…what better way to consumate my new relationship with meat?


3 Responses to “All Ducks go to Heaven”

  1. Posted on July 3rd, 2009

    I wish you all the best in your new diet, but it will be a shame to lose this site’s vegetarian contributor. I am a vegetarian who loves food, but am often met with hostility and condescension by foodies. It would be nice if there were a space for vegetarians and non-vegetarian foodies to discuss overlapping interests in a context of mutual respect and understanding. All the best…

  2. Posted on July 3rd, 2009

    Though I don’t know how I would live life without bacon or the occasional tenderloin you raise an interesting point and now we don’t have any regular contributor. (though to note many of the posts here are not regarding meat…). Perhaps we should send a search part out into the wilderness looking for one to join our collective!

  3. Posted on January 23rd, 2010

    I think the so called *new vegetarian contributors* was a hoax.

    Sorry,but how long have they been here? Two years?
    Then should there be not more vegetarian tags?

    But with the search you find only a hand full.

    And then the vegetarians go back to eating meat and the first thing they eat is foie gras?

    Oh come on..if that is not total clichee.

    And that “There are endless flavours and textures a meat free diet can not provide”..makes it even more clichee.

    Just the same old prejudice you always hear from meat eaters as an argumentation why they do not like vegetarian meals.

    But if you are real Edan and Denise Armstrong, then i hope that “it’s now much easier to make ethical choices when buying meat ” is something you do and not just a hollowed out comment like i hear it from so many meat eaters and then they grab the cheapest stuff available or devour foie gras from force feed ducks.

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