Culinary no-no began on Father’s Day 2007, a beautiful summer day, when I wrote about grilling brats. And eating brats. And topping those brats. I was inspired by my wife, Jennifer who, in my admittedly unscientific opinion, ruins brats by squirting ketchup on them. Other dining taboos quickly came to mind. The original idea was to take this concept only a few months, till the end of summer and then pull the plug. Then the unexpected happened. People started reading Culinary no-no. Lots of folks. So we keep doing the no-no.
We begin this week with a dinner item I love, but rarely eat.
So, so good.
Here’s a great place to dine on duck. Of course.
In Delavan, WI.
Our first picture was also taken there.
Just check out their menu.
The best duck I ever had was at the Hotel Mead and Conference Center in WI Rapids when it was known as the Mead Inn mucho years ago.
What stood out was the sauce. Not your typical orange or cherry, this was a richer blackberry glaze. Smothered on top of that perfectly browned skin, it was beyond amazing.
Then there was the duck confit with smoked Gouda, caramelized onions and dried tart cherries flatbread appetizer one fall evening at the California Grill in Walt Disney World. I talked my wife into ordering it instead of the margherita version she wanted. There were no regrets on her part.
Why don’t I eat duck all that much if I savor it so much? Nothing interesting to tell. Not every restaurant offers duck. Not sold at every supermarket. Usually we simply opt for something else. It’s not because duck is so difficult to prepare.
If asked what are some of my favorite meals, I’m no even sure duck would rank right up there, to be honest.
For some, it’s what’s for dinner.
Yep, that’s good, or maybe a combo of the above two.
Uh. Kev? Oh, Kev. Um. Excuse me, but I’m not seein’ a no-no here.
I’m gettin’ to it. I’m gettin to it!
My curiosity bone went into full gear this past week when the highly respected Wall Street Journal posed this culinary inquiry:
Is Roast Duck Better Than Steak?
I didn’t get whiplash when I read that, but I was extremely surprised.
Is roast duck better than steak? Not even Major Charles Emerson Winchester on M*A*S*H would make such a suggestion. Would any inmate on death row facing a final meal answer ‘yes’?
So what gives, Wall Street Journal? What you got to say before we laugh you out of town?
That would be, Canada’s list. One of them is Marconi in Montreal which came in at #73.
Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly runs Marconi and told the WSJ, “Duck is easier to cook than steak. And it feels more special.” For the newspaper the chef presented duck prepared medium-rare (good) next to new potatoes (good) and crisp-roasted curly kale (no no, where’s the wild rice?) with a luscious tahini dressing (no since it’s designed for the kale).
“Duck is easier to cook than steak?” Since when. Steak isn’t tough stuff, requiring little attention if you know what you’re doing.
Duck “feels more special?” That, too, is arguable. Given steak’s price tag it always seems special to me.
Duck, I’ve learned, is quite healthy. Now THAT will get me every time.
“Hey Jennifer, I’m in the mood for something healthy tonight. Drop what you’re doing, head over to the butcher and get us some duck.”
Duck is delicious.
Easy to cook.
OK. Let’s just stop right now.
That might all be well and good. However, I will go to my grave believing duck is NOT better than steak. Not very analytical, for sure. Doesn’t have to be because it’s so obvious.
CULINARY NO-NO BONUSES
ICYMI last week, Culinary no-no #612 dealt with brats