Ortolan birdsPhoto: Wikipedia

Cruel and unusual, mostly cruel

According to Wikipedia, “For centuries, a rite of passage for French gourmets has been the eating of the Ortolan. These tiny birds — captured alive, force-fed, then drowned in Armagnac — were roasted whole and eaten that way, bones and all, while the diner draped his head with a linen napkin to preserve the precious aromas and, some believe, to hide from God.” 

It is now against the law to sell them in France, but not to eat them. Do we need to say anything more? We thought not.