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More Culinary Adventures: Squab

February 23, 2009

Let me cut to the chase- Squab is pigeon. Young pigeon. If you are grossed out, stop reading. If this piques your interest, as it did mine, then you’re golden.

It all started in the Fall of ’06, when I studied abroad for the fall semester in Paris- those were the days! My colleagues and I had joked about feasting on pigeons, which were found in every corner butcher shop, as a makeshift “Americans-in-Paris” Thanksgiving. Alas, the idea never came to fruition… until now. A fellow Paris-ite and fearless palette explorer threw a dinner on Saturday night as a moving-out fete, and when brainstorming entree suggestions we jumped at the chance to finally eat some dang pigeon.

I was surprised to learn how expensive squab is- ranging from $10-15/lb! At Magnani’s though, our host was able to get a relatively good deal with each bird costing about $9. Using his trusty Zuni Cafe cookbook– highly recommended- the squabs were halved and served with an amazing bread salad (click here for the Zuni recipe). The birds were super moist and gamey, and as fellow party-goer and professional chef perfectly put it, “Gaminess just means more flavor.”

Before the main show, we feasted on a gourmet selection of salumi from Fra’Mani, started by the chef of Oliveto and former Chez Panisse alum (they’re everywhere!). Also served- mussels in a butter and garlic sauce, and homemade squash raviolis with butter and nutmeg. What a feast! But let’s not forget the night’s show-stealer: an overabundance of red wine…


Major contributions were made by a friend who works for Premier Cru, a high-end wine retailer which can be found here in Emeryville and also has a great website which you can check out here. I tried wines that were older than I am- that’s not saying much, but it was a first!
Here’s a select list of what we tried:

2005 Bourgone Passetoutgrain, Lucie et August Lignier (Burgundy, Fr)
1986 Yarra Yering Dry Red No.1 (Yarra Valley, Victoria, Aus)
1995 Faugeres Reserve (Languedoc, Fr)
1988 Gigondas (Southern Rhone, Fr)
1975 Tertre Daugay (St. Emillion, Fr)
1966 Mirassou Pinot Noir (Central Coast, Ca)
1970 Chateau Monbazillac (Monbazillac, Fr)

I will avoid giving a review of any of these- I’d probably get them all confused and just say ‘delicious’ for all of them, which for me is pretty much the truth. In general, I’d say the night was a huge success, and I’m constantly reminded that there really isn’t anything better than a great meal with great friends and great music…

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 25, 2009 9:29 am

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.Alannahttp://www.craigslisthelper.info

  2. February 25, 2009 9:29 am

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.Alannahttp://www.craigslisthelper.info

  3. February 25, 2009 7:25 pm

    Ooops, sorry about the delete above. Anyway, thanks again for coming. Great write up and amazing pics!You rule Maris!

  4. February 25, 2009 7:25 pm

    Ooops, sorry about the delete above. Anyway, thanks again for coming. Great write up and amazing pics!You rule Maris!

  5. February 28, 2009 8:59 pm

    Thanks for the love, kids! If there is anything you’d like to see more of, let me know- feedback is always appreciated 🙂

  6. February 28, 2009 8:59 pm

    Thanks for the love, kids! If there is anything you’d like to see more of, let me know- feedback is always appreciated 🙂

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