Cock’s Comb: In the Knee or in the Tummy?
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I flinched when my orthopedic surgeon and assistant plunged the promised wide needle into the lower part of my right knee. I had agreed to five weekly shots of an intriguing relief, cocks-comb’s derivative, hyaluronic acid, and its gelatinous qualities to ease pain in my troublesome knee.

The doc and his assistant had convinced me chicken combs contain medicinal properties, the comb being the red crest on certain fowl, the red flesh beneath their chin is their wattle – “cockscombs and wattles.” Sounds like a busy English pub ditty, but it wasn’t. The wattle is often an ornament for courting potential mates. A large wattle, they say, is an indication of high testosterone levels, good nutrition and the ability to evade predators, which in turn suggests a successful mate.

I knew “rooster face parts” are considered a delicacy as Finanziera ala Piermontese in northern Italy, the Piedmont region up near the Swiss border. The crests are not only labor-intensive, but it takes time to collect enough for a proper feast which is about 10 crests per portion. For some reason, it is also served only in winter time.

Cleaning the crests, which have a thick outer skin loaded with feathers, is difficult. The feathers are plucked and any tiny strays, burned off with a flame. They are then washed, blanched, and soaked in lemon juice to loosen the tough skin, then carefully peeled.

When just right, differing recipes state, they are later served in the company of any combination of kidneys, veal testicles, calf brain, ox marrow, chicken livers, calf veins, sweetbreads, veal breast, fillet of beef, chopped gherkin pickles, porcini mushrooms, unlaid eggs, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, cinnamon, Marsala wine, butter, green peas, saffron, ginger, sour cherries and wine vinegar.

A restaurateur in the Piedmont who hosts thousands of locals as well as dignitaries like president’s, famed performers and diplomats, reports his special dish is repeatedly rejected after they hear it contains Rooster comb. Even after he tells them they are missing an exquisite experience, they still decline.

Taste? Comments heard:  “Slightly gelatinous” and “Kinda like frogs’ legs.” Many said “Delicious,” as well.

We offer no recipe, for your chances of obtaining enough cock’s combs to make your recipe seem slim. However, should you get a bunch together, Google “Finanziera ala Piermontese” and prepare to hit the translate button.

 

About Marty Martindale

Foodsite Magazine and Marty aim to help the cooking-challenged avoid dependence on others due to lack of cooking knowhow. We concentrate on quick breakfasts, portable lunches and “good-4-u” night meals. With readily available web translation, the magazine explains separate foods, a little of their history, their nutrition, suggested “go-withs,” serving ideas and links to foodsites with recipes.

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Cock’s Comb: In the Knee or in the Tummy? — 2 Comments

  1. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thanks for the treat! But yeah Thanks for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!

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