François Mitterrand French President 1981-1995 and his final meal.

I found out something today and it horrified me and intrigued me all at once.

François Mitterrand the former French president died of prostate cancer in 1996. He requested a final meal of Ortolan (a little yellow bunting bird that lives in Southern Europe) a meal which is now illegal but once a delicacy in France.

The wild bird is caught with a net. Put into a darkened room and made to gorge itself on millet.

Once the bird is fattened it is drowned in brandy then cooked for 8 mins in the oven then is eaten whole.

The person eating the bird eats it all. Bones. The lot. But the bird is eaten underneath a napkin which is placed on the diners head. Some say this is to absorb the smell of the cooked bird. Others say it is to hide this wicked act from God.

It just shocked me I guess. I knew about frogs legs and snails but this is next level and pretty hideous imo.


This was in an episode of succession. I thought it was made up. I still think it might be.


Was quite obsessed with this for some time many years ago. Armagnac specifically for the drowning I think. Probably now at the stage that I wouldn’t cross the line but if I somehow found myself in a position where it was an option I don’t know what I’d do.

1 Like
content warning - how to eat

Put the whole bird into your mouth, with only the beak protruding from your lips. Bite. Put the beak on your plate and begin chewing, gently. You will taste three things: First, the sweetness of the flesh and fat. This is God. Then, the bitterness of the guts will begin to overwhelm you. This is the suffering of Jesus. Finally, as your teeth break the small, delicate bones and they begin to lacerate your gums, you will taste the salt of your own blood, mingling with the richness of the fat and the bitterness of the organs. This is the Holy Spirit, the mystery of the Trinity—three united as one. It is cruel. And beautiful.


Whoah! :flushed:


Reminds me a bit of kiviak too. Watching the birds for that being caught in a net on Human Planet still makes me shudder.

But yeah this one is even more bizarre and gross. Humans are the worst.

1 Like

They still do the net trapping in France. Think it was banned and then revoked. Horrible!

Also there was a programme where Jeremy Clarkson ate this meal. Absolute Jeremy Clarkson thing to do.

This is totally fucked.


Yeah they’re basically like little sparrows and you crunch on the bones and hide under a napkin like a complete twat.

glad he died, the cunt

1 Like

Heard about this (the whole ortolan thing, not Monsieur Mitterand’s last meal) a while ago. Bit grim, innit?

1 Like

They also do glue trapping, which is awful. Big uproar whenever banning it is mooted, the french hunters claim it’s a cultural tradition.

There are sick fucks around.

Reminds me of this? Not sure what the inspiration was for this artwork though…

Even if you can look past the awful method of preparing it. It doesn’t even sound like it would be a pleasant thing to eat. Makes me feel horrible thinking about it.

1 Like

Makes me think of the ‘whole stuffed camel’.

Wikipedia recipe below

Cook eggs. Stuff eggs into fish. Cook the fish. Stuff the fish into cooked chickens. Stuff the cooked chickens into roasted sheep. Stuff the roasted sheep into a whole camel . . . now ‘cook to taste’

Exactly this. I felt a bit sick when I heard about it!