Veal Rant

So, last night we prepared the oft maligned Blanquette de Veau: delicious, tender chunks of veal blanketed in a sauce supreme. Of course we couldn’t get through the lesson without multiple interjections questioning the treatment of the “baby cows”, and an assistant chef even directed the class to check out the PETA website.

I don’t understand how some people think that they can decide which animals are “okay” to eat and which aren’t. What makes the death of a young cow any different from that of an older one? And yes, I have heard the horror stories involving caged animals never seeing the light of day, but that isn’t very far off from the majority of mass produced meat, veal or otherwise.

I know many people who refuse to eat veal but you can catch them chowing down on a chicken breast any old day, and some might say that large scale chicken “factories” are way worse than those producing veal. I find these people hypocritical and completely removed from their food, without knowledge of where it’s coming from or how it gets to their plate. (Here is a disclaimer: if you eat no meat at all then you can complain about the treatment of veal all you want, but if you pick and choose what meat you eat then I am deeming you uncool.)

If one feels they can cook and eat meat, one should be knowledgeable and comfortable with the way said meat is raised and slaughtered. That being said, it is always best to buy from reputable sources who practice sustainable farming techniques whenever possible.

On the same note, the recent ban on foie gras in Chicago has been overturned! Yay! Choosing not to consume foie is a personal choice and the Chicago city council made a laughingstock of themselves by choosing for us. Thank goodness they came to their senses- foie gras is yummy!

After class last night, I noticed while reading Amateur Gourmet that Brasserie Boulud served a twist on Blanquette de Veauat a tasting menu prepared by the man himself. How lucky Adam was to taste all that goodness. Jealous much? I am.

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