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Gingersnap
03-03-2010, 12:53 PM
Don’t Tell the Kids

Jennifer May for The New York Times

http://i50.tinypic.com/23k95zq.jpg
A rabbit at John Fazio’s farm in Modena, N.Y. More Photos >

By KIM SEVERSON
Published: March 2, 2010

RABBITS are supposed to be easy to kill. The French dispatch them with a sharp knife to the throat. A farmer in upstate New York swears that a swift smack with the side of the hand works. Others prefer a quick twist of the neck.

It didn’t seem so easy at the rabbit-killing seminar held in a parking lot behind Roberta’s restaurant in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn in November.

The idea was to place the rabbit on its belly on straw-covered asphalt, press a broomstick across the back of its neck and swiftly yank up the rear legs. Done right, it’s a quiet and quick end. But it takes a little skill and a lot of fortitude, which some of the novices lacked.

Nine people had paid $100 each to learn how to raise, kill and butcher the animals. One was a woman hoping to start a farm in the Bronx. Another was considering a move to family land in Montana. A couple dressed in black had traveled from the Upper East Side with their knives and cutting boards in an Abercrombie & Fitch bag.

Sharleen Johnson, who rode a bus in from Boston, wanted to raise livestock in her backyard.

“This is my gateway animal,” she said.

In an age when diners scoop marrow from roasted beef shins and dissect the feet of pigs raised by people they’ve met, rabbit certainly seems like the right meat at the right time.

American rabbit is typically raised on smaller farms, not in some giant industrial rabbit complex. The meat is lean and healthy, and makes an interesting break from chicken. For people learning to butcher at home, a rabbit is less daunting to cut up than a pig or a goat. And those who are truly obsessed with knowing where their food comes from can raise it themselves.

Still, it’s a rabbit, the animal entire generations know as the star of children’s books and Saturday-morning cartoons, and as a classroom mascot.

Buttermilk Channel in Brooklyn had rabbit on some menus shortly after it opened in late 2008. But after a table of guests walked out, it came off. Now the only rabbit served at the restaurant is disguised in a country terrine.

“It seems to me that the more you can make rabbit not look like rabbit, the easier it is to sell people on it,” said the restaurant’s owner, Doug Crowell.

But not everybody is squeamish. Some restaurant chefs are lining up for well-raised rabbits from small farms, using the meat in coconut chili braises, liver pâtés and even upscale sliders inspired by White Castle.

“Every time I put it on the menu it flies out the door,” said Chris Kronner of Bar Tartine in San Francisco.

I grew up eating rabbits (wild and domestic). New Zealand Whites are a good eating rabbit although they are really lean.

NYT (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/03/dining/03rabbit.html?hp)

noonwitch
03-03-2010, 01:04 PM
I've never eaten rabbit. It's not something my mom would have made. My dad, who's probably eaten just about anything that could pass for meat at some point in his life, has had it and likes it.

This event reminds me of the "Pets or Meat" woman from Michael Moore's first movie, Roger & Me. I think she sued him, unsuccessfully, because she came across as poor white trash or something.

Gingersnap
03-03-2010, 01:15 PM
I've never eaten rabbit. It's not something my mom would have made. My dad, who's probably eaten just about anything that could pass for meat at some point in his life, has had it and likes it.

This event reminds me of the "Pets or Meat" woman from Michael Moore's first movie, Roger & Me. I think she sued him, unsuccessfully, because she came across as poor white trash or something.

Pets ARE Meat. :p

Rabbit is a tasty dish if you add some fat or oil. It's very easy to skin and clean (way easier than chickens) and domestic rabbits are a breeze to raise (not in hot climates). We kids had "our" pet rabbits but we helped to take care of the meat rabbits. It was pretty easy.

In terms of work, I think chickens are more trouble than rabbits but rabbits don't lay eggs so there's that.

linda22003
03-03-2010, 01:19 PM
We kids had "our" pet rabbits but we helped to take care of the meat rabbits. It was pretty easy.

In terms of work, I think chickens are more trouble than rabbits but rabbits don't lay eggs so there's that.

Sometimes I think you're Laura Ingalls Wilder.

noonwitch
03-03-2010, 01:28 PM
In terms of work, I think chickens are more trouble than rabbits but rabbits don't lay eggs so there's that.


I know they don't lay eggs, but...

Did you ever hear the kids' joke about the kid who brought raisins to his teacher every day. One day he didn't bring them in and the teacher asked him why. The kid's response:


The rabbit died.

Gingersnap
03-03-2010, 02:43 PM
Sometimes I think you're Laura Ingalls Wilder.

More like the mean blonde except not as rich and not as well dressed. :D

Rockntractor
03-03-2010, 02:54 PM
More like the mean blonde except not as rich and not as well dressed. :D

Linda would be Mrs. Olsen.

Constitutionally Speaking
03-03-2010, 07:26 PM
I've never eaten rabbit. It's not something my mom would have made. My dad, who's probably eaten just about anything that could pass for meat at some point in his life, has had it and likes it.

This event reminds me of the "Pets or Meat" woman from Michael Moore's first movie, Roger & Me. I think she sued him, unsuccessfully, because she came across as poor white trash or something.

Rabbits are delicious - and Ginger is correct - they need a bit of oil as they are amongst the leanest meats out there.


Interesting factoid. As a result of the lean-ness of the meat, there is a condition called rabbit starvation in which it is said that if all you eat is rabbit, you do not get enough fat in your diet and you can literally starve - no matter how much you eat.

I have no desire to look this up and verify, but I have heard this on several occasions.

djones520
03-03-2010, 07:28 PM
I don't think I've ever had rabbit before, which still suprises me. I've eaten Mountain Lion, but never rabbit...

patriot45
03-03-2010, 07:32 PM
My grand parents used to raise rabbits in Brookly when I was little, rabbit stew was a treat when we went to visit! Never seen them kill them but my Grandma was pretty mean, she probably scared them to death!

They used to tell us that was the only meat they could afford!

lurkalot
03-03-2010, 09:57 PM
The bunny cage is in the computer room. I'm just saying if you suddenly get a lot of spam...while I should be at work.....

:eek: