Re: Coot Recipe
January 19, 2015 at 9:09pm
I think Boots hit the nail on the head. I have a theory about these sorts of things: game that is easy to kill or catch with basic, non-specialized gear used to be seen as inferior on sporting (and probably class) grounds. 'It's easy to shoot a coot/catch a gou. Try shooting a pintail/catching a trophy bass.' Over time, we forget the initial reason - or more likely, repress it, deliberately forget it - and supplant it with a more reasonable one: 'Coots and gou don't taste good.'
I came to Louisiana from Texas and brought with me a lot of culinary prejudices: choupique (which we called grennel): hell no. Black drum: only if you're hurting/have an empty freezer. Coot: no way. Spoonies and ringnecks: give them to your unsuspecting neighbor who knows nothing about ducks. What's the common denominator among all the foregoing? It's not that they taste bad - though, to be fair, I'm still quick to skin my ringnecks instead of plucking them. In fact, lots of these are quite tasty, delicacies even, for some people. Rather, what they all share is a particularly sorry survival instinct, making them easy to get in the pot.
Class, I'll note as an afterthought, is also significant. In Texas, if you can get to it with a canepole, then it's disparaged my many 'sportsmen' as unworthy/untasty. That's one of the really cool things about Louisiana: its culinary traditions, many of them the consequence of entrenched poverty generations back, have climbed into the mainstream. The rich come from all over the world to eat cuisine that was forged out of poverty.