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Party Guests Served Wild Boar Meat Get Rare Infection

Party Guests Served Wild Boar Meat Get Rare Infection


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Not the party favor guests were expecting

Dreamstime

Guests at a Northern California celebration in December 2016 were served a raw pork dish that gave many of them a parasitic disease. According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, guests at the party were served several pork dishes, including a traditional Laotian dish called larb, which is often made with raw pork meat. The meat in this case came from a domesticated wild boar raised and slaughtered on the party host’s farm.

Time reports that 12 people were sickened with trichinellosis, an infection that can result in fevers, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. The outbreak was first noticed by the CDC after a hospital physician notified the Alameda County Public Health Department of a patient diagnosed with the parasite in January 2017.

Of the 10 confirmed and two probable cases of trichinellosis, nine people were hospitalized and two even required admittance to the intensive care unit. CDC officials were able to test leftover raw pork from the meal and found larvae of Trichinella spiralis, the roundworm parasite that causes the disease.

The host told the CDC that raw pork dishes had been served at previous celebrations without any issue. However, while several cooked pork dishes were served at the same event, only the raw larb was associated with a risk of infection. Health officials urged the host to freeze raw meat for 30 days and cook it to a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71.1 degrees Celsius) to kill the hazardous larvae.

"Cultural practices that involve the consumption of raw meat might place certain groups at a higher risk for infection with Trichinella," the CDC concluded.

Think getting a parasite is pretty gnarly? These are the world’s 21 deadliest delicacies.


365 days of meat.

Meat Weeks 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40 & 41. Thursday 27th August - Wednesday 14th October.

Good evening everyone, and welcome back to my odyssey of animals, the carnival of meat. Now, I accept that it has, once again, been an incredibly long time since my last update, but I have decided that we'll be all caught up by Christmas, meaning that, in the next two days, you're going to hear about over three months worth of delicious, and not so delicious, critters.

Before I get into that, however, let me first address my past pledge to give you all a pound per day over a fortnight that I didn't update. Well, if I'd have been three, four or even up to about seven days late, that would have been fine. As it is, this would bankrupt me, so I'll just get you a drink next time you ask me for one? Deal? Good. Then let's move on.

So, when I last let you, I was preparing to fly out to Croatia for my friend's wedding. Laura and I had decided to take this time as our holiday for the year and so, while the rest of the guests would be there for just a week, we would spend over three weeks in the youngest country I've ever visited.

Quite aside from the fact that I'd always wanted to go to Croatia since it once again became an independent nation in 1991 (don't ask me why, I have no idea. ), I was excited by the chance of finding different animals to eat which I may have struggles to get in the UK. In particular, I was looking forward to going, while we were in Zagreb, on a day trip to Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, as I'd read that edible dormouse was a Slovenian national delicacy. It promised to be a horizon altering trip, and I couldn't have looked forward to it more.

Anyway, I started the trip, technically, illegally, by taking my can of snails into the country. Having not had chance to eat them before we left, I just figured that I'd take them with me, giving me an easy meat whilst out there. However, I hadn't reckoned on a couple of things - firstly, none of the accommodation we stayed in for the whole holiday had an oven, which rendered the cooking instructions somewhat moot. Of course, I had no idea, at the time I had them, that this would be the case, as we were in our first private room. It may have been that every place we would have stayed in after that would have an oven, thus making the process much easier, but, unfortunately, I was running out of time in the week, and so had to improvise.

Having managed to get hold of some garlic from the hostel owner (having first learnt the Croatian word for garlic, as it was one of the few English words she didn't understand), I opened the tin, expecting to find snails in their shells. What I actually found were unshelled snails with no shells to put them in (which surprised me as the cooking instructions said to put them in the oven in their shells with garlic butter). So, I put my thinking hat on, and decided that I would fry the snails in the garlic butter, and to hell with the shells. As back-up plans go, it was quite elegant.

And, as it turned out, entirely misguided. I had no concept of how long I should cook the snails, and they came out gritty and horrible. I ate two, which were far too rubbery and not at all like they had been the first time I ever had them last year, when I was able to use an oven and follow instructions. These made me gag, and the rest were quickly discarded of, with absolutely no chance of Laura trying one. So, I would like to thank profusely my friend who got them for me, but feel I must apologise for the way they were treated. Sorry - but it was them in the bin, or me in the bathroom all night.

Unfortunately for me, and probably fortunately for you, this is not the right place for a lengthy love note to Croatia, detailing where we went and what we did. No, here, you just get to find out what I ate, making me sound more like an English tourist than I would ever have liked to be. To complete the persona, I'll just say that, for the most part, the weather was glorious. However, I will urge anyone who can to get out there before it gets overrun with tourists - right now, Croatia is beautiful, and resolutely 'foreign'. We didn't encounter another native English speaker for nearly the first two weeks of our holiday, and even then they were Australian rather than English. However, it can only be a matter of time before all that changes, and this proud nation is full of Brits Abroad, and we'll all have to try and find somewhere else off the beaten path.

Having survived yet another week, we moved onto Zagreb, me with half an eye on Ljubljana. Unfortunately, we just didn't have time, which meant that my hopes of edible dormouse were snuffed out. Even more disappointing was when we found out, on the day we were leaving, and too late for me to do anything about it, that in some of the more upmarket restaurants, I would have been able to eat a bear steak. Gutted doesn't quite describe it. And so, we headed on, still needing exciting animals.

Moving on through the country, we came to Pula, a coastal town in the North-West of the country. Here, we stayed in a holiday resort, our only resort of the holiday, which didn't exactly fill me with glee upon arrival. Having come hoping to find a taste of the real Croatia, I was now in the kind of bland place I'd hoped to avoid. As it was, it turned out not to be too bad, as were only there in the evenings for the most part, and our apartment was lovely - albeit still without an oven. Apparently, Slavs don't bake or roast.

The resort did, however, come up with one very welcome surprise - a restaurant which served shark. Knowing of Croatia's position on the Adriatic, and having been assured that much of the cuisine was based around seafood, this is something which I had saved from my list in order to have here. However, there was one problem. The first night we went there, they had no shark. The waiter seemed fairly confident that there would be some delivered in the next day or two, but I could not be so flippant - failure here would have rendered my entire year worthless.

However, nothing else was coming to mind. Of course, there were plenty of fish, but their sections of the list had already been completed. Thankfully, I found that the small restaurant by the pool served wild boar at lunchtime, giving me an escape route, although one I dearly hoped I wouldn't have to take - shark would be much easier to come by in Croatia than at home in the UK. And so, on Tuesday night, we made our way back to the restaurant, in hope if not in expectation. Thankfully, the waiter was right, and I was able to order my grilled shark steak.

I hadn't quite counted on what I would receive - three circular steaks, approximately six inches in diameter. I assume it was a nurse shark, or something of a similar size, and as the waiter was unable to enlighten me any further, that's what I'm sticking with. Whatever it was, it was delicious - a flaky, fish texture without too strong a flavour, but with a certain something which was hard to put my finger on. It was quite like a tuna steak, particularly in feel, and was more than worth giving up a delicious mozzarella stuffed veal steak for. Just.

Next on our whistle stop tour was Split, and I was hoping for something wonderful. However, I ran into problems. There was just nothing from my list that I could have, and I began to get a little desperate. After lengthy discussions with Laura, and the realisation that, unlike at home, where I could go ask a butcher or fishmonger for anything I wanted, and at the very least be understood, here, I was at the mercy of the restaurants, I decided that, in order to get through, I was going to have to go against my categories, and just have something new.

With this in mind, I emailed Captain Meat, and asked his permission to break away from what I was now coming to think of as 'guidelines' as opposed to rules. It was a tense wait, but the next day, there came a reply - we were all systems go to continue without strict parameters. I was disappointed, obviously, as I had hoped to complete the entire list, but with a choice between failure, and a different type of success, I chose Success 2.0.

And Success 2.0 was both very good, and something I'd wanted to try for a long time - black risotto with cuttlefish. Now, cuttlefish is incredibly like octopus and squid, with the same texture and, pretty much, the same flavour. The most exciting part of the meal was the squid ink risotto which was thoroughly delicious, if a little strange - eating black food is very unusual, and I've never been so filled by a meal before. There wasn't a great deal of cuttlefish in there, but what there was was delicious. I'll be more than happy to have that again.

Cuttlefish was ticked off fairly early in the week, as I knew that I would be moving to Dubrovnik, with no guarantee of a fresh meat, and didn't want to risk losing out. I also knew that, as we were flying home on the Tuesday, even if I couldn't find anything in the next week, I would have a day at home to sort something out. All in all, I was feeling fairly confident. Of course, as soon as I start to think everything might get a little bit easier, nothing does.

Interestingly enough, I actually did have a new meat this week, and also a new style of an old meat. At the wedding, I had red snapper, which I hadn't previously had this year, but which I couldn't count as I was still trying, as much as possible, to stick to my original list, and I also, finally, had whole squid, rather than just calamari. That was delightful.

Anyway, most of the rest of the group had left the day before us, and, as we were left to look around the city one last time, Laura received a text. An exciting text. A text which told us that there was bear meat for sale at the airport.

No, I wasn't sure how we'd get it through customs. I needn't have worried, however, as it wasn't fresh bear steak, as I'd anticipated, but dried meat, rather like a large lump of bear biltong. We bought it (Laura has yet to let me forget just how much it cost. Let's just say that it certainly wasn't cheap) and it went in my shoulder bag. Of course, to be sold there, it had to be fine to take it out of the country, although that didn't stop me having a little flutter as we passed by the customs officials. Upon arriving home, I put him in the fridge, and waited till Wednesday.

Coming home from holiday is always a bit of a culture shock, so having that meat made me feel a little happier, like there was still a lit bit of Croatia with us. As dried meat does, it had a very chewy consistency, but was considerably sweeter than most jerky I'd ever had. Although I can't deny I was very disappointed not to have got a fresh bear steak, this made up for it in some small way, and became easily the most impressive animal I'd eaten this year. I mean, who wouldn't like to think they could take down a bear? And one day I will get myself a fresh one.

We had arrived home just in time for the farmer's market, and so had our monthly saunter to see what we might find. This time, I picked up a hare and some wild boar chops, meaning that two more weeks would be taken care of. The hare was put in the freezer, while the chops were left out for a midweek dinner - one which came around very quickly. Grilled, like a regular pork chop, with some mashed potatoes and vegetables, it was such a warming, traditional meal, and, more importantly, the chops were delicious. There was a good amount of fat on them, which really suffused the meat with flavour, and they were so thick that they were still a little pink in the middle, and were tender and juicy. All in all, the perfect chop. Granted, the flavour wasn't so different from a normal pork chop, although there was certainly a little something extra - although that could have just been the knowledge that I was still ticking along nicely, and enjoying a particularly fine meal.

The following week, I went back to Leeds to see my family. Now, going back home is, of course, always a delight, but it does give me some serious problems when it comes to finding new meat. I've found that I've always struggled a little, and so have had to have something before I go or after I get back. However, this time round, I had had nothing previously, and so had to find something to keep me going. and finally, on the Wednesday, I did, when Marks & Spencer presented me with Lemon Sole.

I honestly don't know if I've ever had sole before. I assume I have, as it is so normal, but I can't be certain. Anyway, I have now. Pan fried in a little butter, the sole was very tasty indeed, and I can imagine having it again. However, it wasn't the sensation that, for example, monkfish had been, so it's not the kind of thing I'll go and actually seek out. Should it fall in my lap, however, then who am I to complain?

Back home, it appeared I would have no problems with my next week. However, as Wednesday rolled around, and I realised I had forgotten to take the hare out of the freezer, I knew that there may well be a wee problemette.

But what to have? Scanning my list, I searched for something I could possibly get hold of. The only thing I could find were birds - if I could get a guinea fowl or quail at the market, then I'd be a happy fellow indeed. Sadly, it was not to be. I checked every butcher's I could think of, and none of them had anything that would help me. In the end, I made a big decision, and decided to once again break away from my list and venture into something else.

I had decided that if I was to break from my list, I'd try as far as possible to get something a little interesting. This time, I managed to buy some fresh king scallops. Now, due to their price tag and somewhat upmarket reputation, I had worried that they may be difficult to prepare, but this was not in any way the case. Simply fried in a little olive oil and butter, a minute or two on each side, the scallops were tremendous. I adore the texture of them - both soft and meaty, and, with a flavour that is not overpowering, it's clear to see why they are held in such regard.

Incidentally, queen scallops aren't nearly as good.

So there you have it. Another long distance catch up that has brought us now into the middle of October, just two and a half months from the completion of my challenge. There's trials and tribulations still to come, some terrifying and delicious animal prospects, and lots more beside. The next update will be don, so long as nothing gets in the way, tomorrow night, so, until then.

And, for those of you trying to keep up, and with some changes due to my new found meaty freedom, here's the updated table, up to and including week 41:

Herbivore Mammals
Bovine - Cow, Week 2 Buffalo, Week 19.
Ovine - Sheep, Week 5 Goat, Week 27.
Marsupia - Kangaroo, Week 21.
Rodentia - Rabbit, Week 13.

Omnivore Mammals
Porcine - Pig, Week 1 Wild Boar, Week 39.
Rodentia (a different one to the herbivore one)

Carnivore Mammals
Ursine - Bear, Week 38.

Arthropods
Insecta
- Winged - Crickets, Week 12.
- Unwinged – Mealworms, Week 10 (Mealworm Beetle Larva) Ants, Week 15.
Arachnid - Scorpion, Week 20.
Crustatia
- Sea - Prawns, Week 17 Crab, Week 23.

Reptilia
Crocodile, Week 26.

Fish
Scaled fish - Salmon, Week 6 Tuna, Week 33.
Flat fish - Monkfish, Week 30 Sole, Week 40.
Shark - Dogfish, Week 28 Shark, Week 36.

Mollusca
Bivalvia – Mussels, Week 11 Cockles, Week 29 Scallop, Week 41.
Cephalopoda - Octopus, Week 8 Squid, Week 24 Cuttlefish, Week 37.
Gastropoda - Whelks, Week 32 Snail, Week 35

Plus 10 different types of Bird - Turkey, Week 3 Chicken, Week 4 Ostrich, Week 7 Wood Pigeon, Week 16 Duck, Week 18 Goose, Week 22 Pheasant, Week 31 Partridge, Week 34.
Plus 2 Animals from classifications NOT on the list – Deer (Cervine), Week 9 Eel, Week 14.


365 days of meat.

Meat Weeks 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40 & 41. Thursday 27th August - Wednesday 14th October.

Good evening everyone, and welcome back to my odyssey of animals, the carnival of meat. Now, I accept that it has, once again, been an incredibly long time since my last update, but I have decided that we'll be all caught up by Christmas, meaning that, in the next two days, you're going to hear about over three months worth of delicious, and not so delicious, critters.

Before I get into that, however, let me first address my past pledge to give you all a pound per day over a fortnight that I didn't update. Well, if I'd have been three, four or even up to about seven days late, that would have been fine. As it is, this would bankrupt me, so I'll just get you a drink next time you ask me for one? Deal? Good. Then let's move on.

So, when I last let you, I was preparing to fly out to Croatia for my friend's wedding. Laura and I had decided to take this time as our holiday for the year and so, while the rest of the guests would be there for just a week, we would spend over three weeks in the youngest country I've ever visited.

Quite aside from the fact that I'd always wanted to go to Croatia since it once again became an independent nation in 1991 (don't ask me why, I have no idea. ), I was excited by the chance of finding different animals to eat which I may have struggles to get in the UK. In particular, I was looking forward to going, while we were in Zagreb, on a day trip to Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, as I'd read that edible dormouse was a Slovenian national delicacy. It promised to be a horizon altering trip, and I couldn't have looked forward to it more.

Anyway, I started the trip, technically, illegally, by taking my can of snails into the country. Having not had chance to eat them before we left, I just figured that I'd take them with me, giving me an easy meat whilst out there. However, I hadn't reckoned on a couple of things - firstly, none of the accommodation we stayed in for the whole holiday had an oven, which rendered the cooking instructions somewhat moot. Of course, I had no idea, at the time I had them, that this would be the case, as we were in our first private room. It may have been that every place we would have stayed in after that would have an oven, thus making the process much easier, but, unfortunately, I was running out of time in the week, and so had to improvise.

Having managed to get hold of some garlic from the hostel owner (having first learnt the Croatian word for garlic, as it was one of the few English words she didn't understand), I opened the tin, expecting to find snails in their shells. What I actually found were unshelled snails with no shells to put them in (which surprised me as the cooking instructions said to put them in the oven in their shells with garlic butter). So, I put my thinking hat on, and decided that I would fry the snails in the garlic butter, and to hell with the shells. As back-up plans go, it was quite elegant.

And, as it turned out, entirely misguided. I had no concept of how long I should cook the snails, and they came out gritty and horrible. I ate two, which were far too rubbery and not at all like they had been the first time I ever had them last year, when I was able to use an oven and follow instructions. These made me gag, and the rest were quickly discarded of, with absolutely no chance of Laura trying one. So, I would like to thank profusely my friend who got them for me, but feel I must apologise for the way they were treated. Sorry - but it was them in the bin, or me in the bathroom all night.

Unfortunately for me, and probably fortunately for you, this is not the right place for a lengthy love note to Croatia, detailing where we went and what we did. No, here, you just get to find out what I ate, making me sound more like an English tourist than I would ever have liked to be. To complete the persona, I'll just say that, for the most part, the weather was glorious. However, I will urge anyone who can to get out there before it gets overrun with tourists - right now, Croatia is beautiful, and resolutely 'foreign'. We didn't encounter another native English speaker for nearly the first two weeks of our holiday, and even then they were Australian rather than English. However, it can only be a matter of time before all that changes, and this proud nation is full of Brits Abroad, and we'll all have to try and find somewhere else off the beaten path.

Having survived yet another week, we moved onto Zagreb, me with half an eye on Ljubljana. Unfortunately, we just didn't have time, which meant that my hopes of edible dormouse were snuffed out. Even more disappointing was when we found out, on the day we were leaving, and too late for me to do anything about it, that in some of the more upmarket restaurants, I would have been able to eat a bear steak. Gutted doesn't quite describe it. And so, we headed on, still needing exciting animals.

Moving on through the country, we came to Pula, a coastal town in the North-West of the country. Here, we stayed in a holiday resort, our only resort of the holiday, which didn't exactly fill me with glee upon arrival. Having come hoping to find a taste of the real Croatia, I was now in the kind of bland place I'd hoped to avoid. As it was, it turned out not to be too bad, as were only there in the evenings for the most part, and our apartment was lovely - albeit still without an oven. Apparently, Slavs don't bake or roast.

The resort did, however, come up with one very welcome surprise - a restaurant which served shark. Knowing of Croatia's position on the Adriatic, and having been assured that much of the cuisine was based around seafood, this is something which I had saved from my list in order to have here. However, there was one problem. The first night we went there, they had no shark. The waiter seemed fairly confident that there would be some delivered in the next day or two, but I could not be so flippant - failure here would have rendered my entire year worthless.

However, nothing else was coming to mind. Of course, there were plenty of fish, but their sections of the list had already been completed. Thankfully, I found that the small restaurant by the pool served wild boar at lunchtime, giving me an escape route, although one I dearly hoped I wouldn't have to take - shark would be much easier to come by in Croatia than at home in the UK. And so, on Tuesday night, we made our way back to the restaurant, in hope if not in expectation. Thankfully, the waiter was right, and I was able to order my grilled shark steak.

I hadn't quite counted on what I would receive - three circular steaks, approximately six inches in diameter. I assume it was a nurse shark, or something of a similar size, and as the waiter was unable to enlighten me any further, that's what I'm sticking with. Whatever it was, it was delicious - a flaky, fish texture without too strong a flavour, but with a certain something which was hard to put my finger on. It was quite like a tuna steak, particularly in feel, and was more than worth giving up a delicious mozzarella stuffed veal steak for. Just.

Next on our whistle stop tour was Split, and I was hoping for something wonderful. However, I ran into problems. There was just nothing from my list that I could have, and I began to get a little desperate. After lengthy discussions with Laura, and the realisation that, unlike at home, where I could go ask a butcher or fishmonger for anything I wanted, and at the very least be understood, here, I was at the mercy of the restaurants, I decided that, in order to get through, I was going to have to go against my categories, and just have something new.

With this in mind, I emailed Captain Meat, and asked his permission to break away from what I was now coming to think of as 'guidelines' as opposed to rules. It was a tense wait, but the next day, there came a reply - we were all systems go to continue without strict parameters. I was disappointed, obviously, as I had hoped to complete the entire list, but with a choice between failure, and a different type of success, I chose Success 2.0.

And Success 2.0 was both very good, and something I'd wanted to try for a long time - black risotto with cuttlefish. Now, cuttlefish is incredibly like octopus and squid, with the same texture and, pretty much, the same flavour. The most exciting part of the meal was the squid ink risotto which was thoroughly delicious, if a little strange - eating black food is very unusual, and I've never been so filled by a meal before. There wasn't a great deal of cuttlefish in there, but what there was was delicious. I'll be more than happy to have that again.

Cuttlefish was ticked off fairly early in the week, as I knew that I would be moving to Dubrovnik, with no guarantee of a fresh meat, and didn't want to risk losing out. I also knew that, as we were flying home on the Tuesday, even if I couldn't find anything in the next week, I would have a day at home to sort something out. All in all, I was feeling fairly confident. Of course, as soon as I start to think everything might get a little bit easier, nothing does.

Interestingly enough, I actually did have a new meat this week, and also a new style of an old meat. At the wedding, I had red snapper, which I hadn't previously had this year, but which I couldn't count as I was still trying, as much as possible, to stick to my original list, and I also, finally, had whole squid, rather than just calamari. That was delightful.

Anyway, most of the rest of the group had left the day before us, and, as we were left to look around the city one last time, Laura received a text. An exciting text. A text which told us that there was bear meat for sale at the airport.

No, I wasn't sure how we'd get it through customs. I needn't have worried, however, as it wasn't fresh bear steak, as I'd anticipated, but dried meat, rather like a large lump of bear biltong. We bought it (Laura has yet to let me forget just how much it cost. Let's just say that it certainly wasn't cheap) and it went in my shoulder bag. Of course, to be sold there, it had to be fine to take it out of the country, although that didn't stop me having a little flutter as we passed by the customs officials. Upon arriving home, I put him in the fridge, and waited till Wednesday.

Coming home from holiday is always a bit of a culture shock, so having that meat made me feel a little happier, like there was still a lit bit of Croatia with us. As dried meat does, it had a very chewy consistency, but was considerably sweeter than most jerky I'd ever had. Although I can't deny I was very disappointed not to have got a fresh bear steak, this made up for it in some small way, and became easily the most impressive animal I'd eaten this year. I mean, who wouldn't like to think they could take down a bear? And one day I will get myself a fresh one.

We had arrived home just in time for the farmer's market, and so had our monthly saunter to see what we might find. This time, I picked up a hare and some wild boar chops, meaning that two more weeks would be taken care of. The hare was put in the freezer, while the chops were left out for a midweek dinner - one which came around very quickly. Grilled, like a regular pork chop, with some mashed potatoes and vegetables, it was such a warming, traditional meal, and, more importantly, the chops were delicious. There was a good amount of fat on them, which really suffused the meat with flavour, and they were so thick that they were still a little pink in the middle, and were tender and juicy. All in all, the perfect chop. Granted, the flavour wasn't so different from a normal pork chop, although there was certainly a little something extra - although that could have just been the knowledge that I was still ticking along nicely, and enjoying a particularly fine meal.

The following week, I went back to Leeds to see my family. Now, going back home is, of course, always a delight, but it does give me some serious problems when it comes to finding new meat. I've found that I've always struggled a little, and so have had to have something before I go or after I get back. However, this time round, I had had nothing previously, and so had to find something to keep me going. and finally, on the Wednesday, I did, when Marks & Spencer presented me with Lemon Sole.

I honestly don't know if I've ever had sole before. I assume I have, as it is so normal, but I can't be certain. Anyway, I have now. Pan fried in a little butter, the sole was very tasty indeed, and I can imagine having it again. However, it wasn't the sensation that, for example, monkfish had been, so it's not the kind of thing I'll go and actually seek out. Should it fall in my lap, however, then who am I to complain?

Back home, it appeared I would have no problems with my next week. However, as Wednesday rolled around, and I realised I had forgotten to take the hare out of the freezer, I knew that there may well be a wee problemette.

But what to have? Scanning my list, I searched for something I could possibly get hold of. The only thing I could find were birds - if I could get a guinea fowl or quail at the market, then I'd be a happy fellow indeed. Sadly, it was not to be. I checked every butcher's I could think of, and none of them had anything that would help me. In the end, I made a big decision, and decided to once again break away from my list and venture into something else.

I had decided that if I was to break from my list, I'd try as far as possible to get something a little interesting. This time, I managed to buy some fresh king scallops. Now, due to their price tag and somewhat upmarket reputation, I had worried that they may be difficult to prepare, but this was not in any way the case. Simply fried in a little olive oil and butter, a minute or two on each side, the scallops were tremendous. I adore the texture of them - both soft and meaty, and, with a flavour that is not overpowering, it's clear to see why they are held in such regard.

Incidentally, queen scallops aren't nearly as good.

So there you have it. Another long distance catch up that has brought us now into the middle of October, just two and a half months from the completion of my challenge. There's trials and tribulations still to come, some terrifying and delicious animal prospects, and lots more beside. The next update will be don, so long as nothing gets in the way, tomorrow night, so, until then.

And, for those of you trying to keep up, and with some changes due to my new found meaty freedom, here's the updated table, up to and including week 41:

Herbivore Mammals
Bovine - Cow, Week 2 Buffalo, Week 19.
Ovine - Sheep, Week 5 Goat, Week 27.
Marsupia - Kangaroo, Week 21.
Rodentia - Rabbit, Week 13.

Omnivore Mammals
Porcine - Pig, Week 1 Wild Boar, Week 39.
Rodentia (a different one to the herbivore one)

Carnivore Mammals
Ursine - Bear, Week 38.

Arthropods
Insecta
- Winged - Crickets, Week 12.
- Unwinged – Mealworms, Week 10 (Mealworm Beetle Larva) Ants, Week 15.
Arachnid - Scorpion, Week 20.
Crustatia
- Sea - Prawns, Week 17 Crab, Week 23.

Reptilia
Crocodile, Week 26.

Fish
Scaled fish - Salmon, Week 6 Tuna, Week 33.
Flat fish - Monkfish, Week 30 Sole, Week 40.
Shark - Dogfish, Week 28 Shark, Week 36.

Mollusca
Bivalvia – Mussels, Week 11 Cockles, Week 29 Scallop, Week 41.
Cephalopoda - Octopus, Week 8 Squid, Week 24 Cuttlefish, Week 37.
Gastropoda - Whelks, Week 32 Snail, Week 35

Plus 10 different types of Bird - Turkey, Week 3 Chicken, Week 4 Ostrich, Week 7 Wood Pigeon, Week 16 Duck, Week 18 Goose, Week 22 Pheasant, Week 31 Partridge, Week 34.
Plus 2 Animals from classifications NOT on the list – Deer (Cervine), Week 9 Eel, Week 14.


365 days of meat.

Meat Weeks 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40 & 41. Thursday 27th August - Wednesday 14th October.

Good evening everyone, and welcome back to my odyssey of animals, the carnival of meat. Now, I accept that it has, once again, been an incredibly long time since my last update, but I have decided that we'll be all caught up by Christmas, meaning that, in the next two days, you're going to hear about over three months worth of delicious, and not so delicious, critters.

Before I get into that, however, let me first address my past pledge to give you all a pound per day over a fortnight that I didn't update. Well, if I'd have been three, four or even up to about seven days late, that would have been fine. As it is, this would bankrupt me, so I'll just get you a drink next time you ask me for one? Deal? Good. Then let's move on.

So, when I last let you, I was preparing to fly out to Croatia for my friend's wedding. Laura and I had decided to take this time as our holiday for the year and so, while the rest of the guests would be there for just a week, we would spend over three weeks in the youngest country I've ever visited.

Quite aside from the fact that I'd always wanted to go to Croatia since it once again became an independent nation in 1991 (don't ask me why, I have no idea. ), I was excited by the chance of finding different animals to eat which I may have struggles to get in the UK. In particular, I was looking forward to going, while we were in Zagreb, on a day trip to Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, as I'd read that edible dormouse was a Slovenian national delicacy. It promised to be a horizon altering trip, and I couldn't have looked forward to it more.

Anyway, I started the trip, technically, illegally, by taking my can of snails into the country. Having not had chance to eat them before we left, I just figured that I'd take them with me, giving me an easy meat whilst out there. However, I hadn't reckoned on a couple of things - firstly, none of the accommodation we stayed in for the whole holiday had an oven, which rendered the cooking instructions somewhat moot. Of course, I had no idea, at the time I had them, that this would be the case, as we were in our first private room. It may have been that every place we would have stayed in after that would have an oven, thus making the process much easier, but, unfortunately, I was running out of time in the week, and so had to improvise.

Having managed to get hold of some garlic from the hostel owner (having first learnt the Croatian word for garlic, as it was one of the few English words she didn't understand), I opened the tin, expecting to find snails in their shells. What I actually found were unshelled snails with no shells to put them in (which surprised me as the cooking instructions said to put them in the oven in their shells with garlic butter). So, I put my thinking hat on, and decided that I would fry the snails in the garlic butter, and to hell with the shells. As back-up plans go, it was quite elegant.

And, as it turned out, entirely misguided. I had no concept of how long I should cook the snails, and they came out gritty and horrible. I ate two, which were far too rubbery and not at all like they had been the first time I ever had them last year, when I was able to use an oven and follow instructions. These made me gag, and the rest were quickly discarded of, with absolutely no chance of Laura trying one. So, I would like to thank profusely my friend who got them for me, but feel I must apologise for the way they were treated. Sorry - but it was them in the bin, or me in the bathroom all night.

Unfortunately for me, and probably fortunately for you, this is not the right place for a lengthy love note to Croatia, detailing where we went and what we did. No, here, you just get to find out what I ate, making me sound more like an English tourist than I would ever have liked to be. To complete the persona, I'll just say that, for the most part, the weather was glorious. However, I will urge anyone who can to get out there before it gets overrun with tourists - right now, Croatia is beautiful, and resolutely 'foreign'. We didn't encounter another native English speaker for nearly the first two weeks of our holiday, and even then they were Australian rather than English. However, it can only be a matter of time before all that changes, and this proud nation is full of Brits Abroad, and we'll all have to try and find somewhere else off the beaten path.

Having survived yet another week, we moved onto Zagreb, me with half an eye on Ljubljana. Unfortunately, we just didn't have time, which meant that my hopes of edible dormouse were snuffed out. Even more disappointing was when we found out, on the day we were leaving, and too late for me to do anything about it, that in some of the more upmarket restaurants, I would have been able to eat a bear steak. Gutted doesn't quite describe it. And so, we headed on, still needing exciting animals.

Moving on through the country, we came to Pula, a coastal town in the North-West of the country. Here, we stayed in a holiday resort, our only resort of the holiday, which didn't exactly fill me with glee upon arrival. Having come hoping to find a taste of the real Croatia, I was now in the kind of bland place I'd hoped to avoid. As it was, it turned out not to be too bad, as were only there in the evenings for the most part, and our apartment was lovely - albeit still without an oven. Apparently, Slavs don't bake or roast.

The resort did, however, come up with one very welcome surprise - a restaurant which served shark. Knowing of Croatia's position on the Adriatic, and having been assured that much of the cuisine was based around seafood, this is something which I had saved from my list in order to have here. However, there was one problem. The first night we went there, they had no shark. The waiter seemed fairly confident that there would be some delivered in the next day or two, but I could not be so flippant - failure here would have rendered my entire year worthless.

However, nothing else was coming to mind. Of course, there were plenty of fish, but their sections of the list had already been completed. Thankfully, I found that the small restaurant by the pool served wild boar at lunchtime, giving me an escape route, although one I dearly hoped I wouldn't have to take - shark would be much easier to come by in Croatia than at home in the UK. And so, on Tuesday night, we made our way back to the restaurant, in hope if not in expectation. Thankfully, the waiter was right, and I was able to order my grilled shark steak.

I hadn't quite counted on what I would receive - three circular steaks, approximately six inches in diameter. I assume it was a nurse shark, or something of a similar size, and as the waiter was unable to enlighten me any further, that's what I'm sticking with. Whatever it was, it was delicious - a flaky, fish texture without too strong a flavour, but with a certain something which was hard to put my finger on. It was quite like a tuna steak, particularly in feel, and was more than worth giving up a delicious mozzarella stuffed veal steak for. Just.

Next on our whistle stop tour was Split, and I was hoping for something wonderful. However, I ran into problems. There was just nothing from my list that I could have, and I began to get a little desperate. After lengthy discussions with Laura, and the realisation that, unlike at home, where I could go ask a butcher or fishmonger for anything I wanted, and at the very least be understood, here, I was at the mercy of the restaurants, I decided that, in order to get through, I was going to have to go against my categories, and just have something new.

With this in mind, I emailed Captain Meat, and asked his permission to break away from what I was now coming to think of as 'guidelines' as opposed to rules. It was a tense wait, but the next day, there came a reply - we were all systems go to continue without strict parameters. I was disappointed, obviously, as I had hoped to complete the entire list, but with a choice between failure, and a different type of success, I chose Success 2.0.

And Success 2.0 was both very good, and something I'd wanted to try for a long time - black risotto with cuttlefish. Now, cuttlefish is incredibly like octopus and squid, with the same texture and, pretty much, the same flavour. The most exciting part of the meal was the squid ink risotto which was thoroughly delicious, if a little strange - eating black food is very unusual, and I've never been so filled by a meal before. There wasn't a great deal of cuttlefish in there, but what there was was delicious. I'll be more than happy to have that again.

Cuttlefish was ticked off fairly early in the week, as I knew that I would be moving to Dubrovnik, with no guarantee of a fresh meat, and didn't want to risk losing out. I also knew that, as we were flying home on the Tuesday, even if I couldn't find anything in the next week, I would have a day at home to sort something out. All in all, I was feeling fairly confident. Of course, as soon as I start to think everything might get a little bit easier, nothing does.

Interestingly enough, I actually did have a new meat this week, and also a new style of an old meat. At the wedding, I had red snapper, which I hadn't previously had this year, but which I couldn't count as I was still trying, as much as possible, to stick to my original list, and I also, finally, had whole squid, rather than just calamari. That was delightful.

Anyway, most of the rest of the group had left the day before us, and, as we were left to look around the city one last time, Laura received a text. An exciting text. A text which told us that there was bear meat for sale at the airport.

No, I wasn't sure how we'd get it through customs. I needn't have worried, however, as it wasn't fresh bear steak, as I'd anticipated, but dried meat, rather like a large lump of bear biltong. We bought it (Laura has yet to let me forget just how much it cost. Let's just say that it certainly wasn't cheap) and it went in my shoulder bag. Of course, to be sold there, it had to be fine to take it out of the country, although that didn't stop me having a little flutter as we passed by the customs officials. Upon arriving home, I put him in the fridge, and waited till Wednesday.

Coming home from holiday is always a bit of a culture shock, so having that meat made me feel a little happier, like there was still a lit bit of Croatia with us. As dried meat does, it had a very chewy consistency, but was considerably sweeter than most jerky I'd ever had. Although I can't deny I was very disappointed not to have got a fresh bear steak, this made up for it in some small way, and became easily the most impressive animal I'd eaten this year. I mean, who wouldn't like to think they could take down a bear? And one day I will get myself a fresh one.

We had arrived home just in time for the farmer's market, and so had our monthly saunter to see what we might find. This time, I picked up a hare and some wild boar chops, meaning that two more weeks would be taken care of. The hare was put in the freezer, while the chops were left out for a midweek dinner - one which came around very quickly. Grilled, like a regular pork chop, with some mashed potatoes and vegetables, it was such a warming, traditional meal, and, more importantly, the chops were delicious. There was a good amount of fat on them, which really suffused the meat with flavour, and they were so thick that they were still a little pink in the middle, and were tender and juicy. All in all, the perfect chop. Granted, the flavour wasn't so different from a normal pork chop, although there was certainly a little something extra - although that could have just been the knowledge that I was still ticking along nicely, and enjoying a particularly fine meal.

The following week, I went back to Leeds to see my family. Now, going back home is, of course, always a delight, but it does give me some serious problems when it comes to finding new meat. I've found that I've always struggled a little, and so have had to have something before I go or after I get back. However, this time round, I had had nothing previously, and so had to find something to keep me going. and finally, on the Wednesday, I did, when Marks & Spencer presented me with Lemon Sole.

I honestly don't know if I've ever had sole before. I assume I have, as it is so normal, but I can't be certain. Anyway, I have now. Pan fried in a little butter, the sole was very tasty indeed, and I can imagine having it again. However, it wasn't the sensation that, for example, monkfish had been, so it's not the kind of thing I'll go and actually seek out. Should it fall in my lap, however, then who am I to complain?

Back home, it appeared I would have no problems with my next week. However, as Wednesday rolled around, and I realised I had forgotten to take the hare out of the freezer, I knew that there may well be a wee problemette.

But what to have? Scanning my list, I searched for something I could possibly get hold of. The only thing I could find were birds - if I could get a guinea fowl or quail at the market, then I'd be a happy fellow indeed. Sadly, it was not to be. I checked every butcher's I could think of, and none of them had anything that would help me. In the end, I made a big decision, and decided to once again break away from my list and venture into something else.

I had decided that if I was to break from my list, I'd try as far as possible to get something a little interesting. This time, I managed to buy some fresh king scallops. Now, due to their price tag and somewhat upmarket reputation, I had worried that they may be difficult to prepare, but this was not in any way the case. Simply fried in a little olive oil and butter, a minute or two on each side, the scallops were tremendous. I adore the texture of them - both soft and meaty, and, with a flavour that is not overpowering, it's clear to see why they are held in such regard.

Incidentally, queen scallops aren't nearly as good.

So there you have it. Another long distance catch up that has brought us now into the middle of October, just two and a half months from the completion of my challenge. There's trials and tribulations still to come, some terrifying and delicious animal prospects, and lots more beside. The next update will be don, so long as nothing gets in the way, tomorrow night, so, until then.

And, for those of you trying to keep up, and with some changes due to my new found meaty freedom, here's the updated table, up to and including week 41:

Herbivore Mammals
Bovine - Cow, Week 2 Buffalo, Week 19.
Ovine - Sheep, Week 5 Goat, Week 27.
Marsupia - Kangaroo, Week 21.
Rodentia - Rabbit, Week 13.

Omnivore Mammals
Porcine - Pig, Week 1 Wild Boar, Week 39.
Rodentia (a different one to the herbivore one)

Carnivore Mammals
Ursine - Bear, Week 38.

Arthropods
Insecta
- Winged - Crickets, Week 12.
- Unwinged – Mealworms, Week 10 (Mealworm Beetle Larva) Ants, Week 15.
Arachnid - Scorpion, Week 20.
Crustatia
- Sea - Prawns, Week 17 Crab, Week 23.

Reptilia
Crocodile, Week 26.

Fish
Scaled fish - Salmon, Week 6 Tuna, Week 33.
Flat fish - Monkfish, Week 30 Sole, Week 40.
Shark - Dogfish, Week 28 Shark, Week 36.

Mollusca
Bivalvia – Mussels, Week 11 Cockles, Week 29 Scallop, Week 41.
Cephalopoda - Octopus, Week 8 Squid, Week 24 Cuttlefish, Week 37.
Gastropoda - Whelks, Week 32 Snail, Week 35

Plus 10 different types of Bird - Turkey, Week 3 Chicken, Week 4 Ostrich, Week 7 Wood Pigeon, Week 16 Duck, Week 18 Goose, Week 22 Pheasant, Week 31 Partridge, Week 34.
Plus 2 Animals from classifications NOT on the list – Deer (Cervine), Week 9 Eel, Week 14.


365 days of meat.

Meat Weeks 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40 & 41. Thursday 27th August - Wednesday 14th October.

Good evening everyone, and welcome back to my odyssey of animals, the carnival of meat. Now, I accept that it has, once again, been an incredibly long time since my last update, but I have decided that we'll be all caught up by Christmas, meaning that, in the next two days, you're going to hear about over three months worth of delicious, and not so delicious, critters.

Before I get into that, however, let me first address my past pledge to give you all a pound per day over a fortnight that I didn't update. Well, if I'd have been three, four or even up to about seven days late, that would have been fine. As it is, this would bankrupt me, so I'll just get you a drink next time you ask me for one? Deal? Good. Then let's move on.

So, when I last let you, I was preparing to fly out to Croatia for my friend's wedding. Laura and I had decided to take this time as our holiday for the year and so, while the rest of the guests would be there for just a week, we would spend over three weeks in the youngest country I've ever visited.

Quite aside from the fact that I'd always wanted to go to Croatia since it once again became an independent nation in 1991 (don't ask me why, I have no idea. ), I was excited by the chance of finding different animals to eat which I may have struggles to get in the UK. In particular, I was looking forward to going, while we were in Zagreb, on a day trip to Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, as I'd read that edible dormouse was a Slovenian national delicacy. It promised to be a horizon altering trip, and I couldn't have looked forward to it more.

Anyway, I started the trip, technically, illegally, by taking my can of snails into the country. Having not had chance to eat them before we left, I just figured that I'd take them with me, giving me an easy meat whilst out there. However, I hadn't reckoned on a couple of things - firstly, none of the accommodation we stayed in for the whole holiday had an oven, which rendered the cooking instructions somewhat moot. Of course, I had no idea, at the time I had them, that this would be the case, as we were in our first private room. It may have been that every place we would have stayed in after that would have an oven, thus making the process much easier, but, unfortunately, I was running out of time in the week, and so had to improvise.

Having managed to get hold of some garlic from the hostel owner (having first learnt the Croatian word for garlic, as it was one of the few English words she didn't understand), I opened the tin, expecting to find snails in their shells. What I actually found were unshelled snails with no shells to put them in (which surprised me as the cooking instructions said to put them in the oven in their shells with garlic butter). So, I put my thinking hat on, and decided that I would fry the snails in the garlic butter, and to hell with the shells. As back-up plans go, it was quite elegant.

And, as it turned out, entirely misguided. I had no concept of how long I should cook the snails, and they came out gritty and horrible. I ate two, which were far too rubbery and not at all like they had been the first time I ever had them last year, when I was able to use an oven and follow instructions. These made me gag, and the rest were quickly discarded of, with absolutely no chance of Laura trying one. So, I would like to thank profusely my friend who got them for me, but feel I must apologise for the way they were treated. Sorry - but it was them in the bin, or me in the bathroom all night.

Unfortunately for me, and probably fortunately for you, this is not the right place for a lengthy love note to Croatia, detailing where we went and what we did. No, here, you just get to find out what I ate, making me sound more like an English tourist than I would ever have liked to be. To complete the persona, I'll just say that, for the most part, the weather was glorious. However, I will urge anyone who can to get out there before it gets overrun with tourists - right now, Croatia is beautiful, and resolutely 'foreign'. We didn't encounter another native English speaker for nearly the first two weeks of our holiday, and even then they were Australian rather than English. However, it can only be a matter of time before all that changes, and this proud nation is full of Brits Abroad, and we'll all have to try and find somewhere else off the beaten path.

Having survived yet another week, we moved onto Zagreb, me with half an eye on Ljubljana. Unfortunately, we just didn't have time, which meant that my hopes of edible dormouse were snuffed out. Even more disappointing was when we found out, on the day we were leaving, and too late for me to do anything about it, that in some of the more upmarket restaurants, I would have been able to eat a bear steak. Gutted doesn't quite describe it. And so, we headed on, still needing exciting animals.

Moving on through the country, we came to Pula, a coastal town in the North-West of the country. Here, we stayed in a holiday resort, our only resort of the holiday, which didn't exactly fill me with glee upon arrival. Having come hoping to find a taste of the real Croatia, I was now in the kind of bland place I'd hoped to avoid. As it was, it turned out not to be too bad, as were only there in the evenings for the most part, and our apartment was lovely - albeit still without an oven. Apparently, Slavs don't bake or roast.

The resort did, however, come up with one very welcome surprise - a restaurant which served shark. Knowing of Croatia's position on the Adriatic, and having been assured that much of the cuisine was based around seafood, this is something which I had saved from my list in order to have here. However, there was one problem. The first night we went there, they had no shark. The waiter seemed fairly confident that there would be some delivered in the next day or two, but I could not be so flippant - failure here would have rendered my entire year worthless.

However, nothing else was coming to mind. Of course, there were plenty of fish, but their sections of the list had already been completed. Thankfully, I found that the small restaurant by the pool served wild boar at lunchtime, giving me an escape route, although one I dearly hoped I wouldn't have to take - shark would be much easier to come by in Croatia than at home in the UK. And so, on Tuesday night, we made our way back to the restaurant, in hope if not in expectation. Thankfully, the waiter was right, and I was able to order my grilled shark steak.

I hadn't quite counted on what I would receive - three circular steaks, approximately six inches in diameter. I assume it was a nurse shark, or something of a similar size, and as the waiter was unable to enlighten me any further, that's what I'm sticking with. Whatever it was, it was delicious - a flaky, fish texture without too strong a flavour, but with a certain something which was hard to put my finger on. It was quite like a tuna steak, particularly in feel, and was more than worth giving up a delicious mozzarella stuffed veal steak for. Just.

Next on our whistle stop tour was Split, and I was hoping for something wonderful. However, I ran into problems. There was just nothing from my list that I could have, and I began to get a little desperate. After lengthy discussions with Laura, and the realisation that, unlike at home, where I could go ask a butcher or fishmonger for anything I wanted, and at the very least be understood, here, I was at the mercy of the restaurants, I decided that, in order to get through, I was going to have to go against my categories, and just have something new.

With this in mind, I emailed Captain Meat, and asked his permission to break away from what I was now coming to think of as 'guidelines' as opposed to rules. It was a tense wait, but the next day, there came a reply - we were all systems go to continue without strict parameters. I was disappointed, obviously, as I had hoped to complete the entire list, but with a choice between failure, and a different type of success, I chose Success 2.0.

And Success 2.0 was both very good, and something I'd wanted to try for a long time - black risotto with cuttlefish. Now, cuttlefish is incredibly like octopus and squid, with the same texture and, pretty much, the same flavour. The most exciting part of the meal was the squid ink risotto which was thoroughly delicious, if a little strange - eating black food is very unusual, and I've never been so filled by a meal before. There wasn't a great deal of cuttlefish in there, but what there was was delicious. I'll be more than happy to have that again.

Cuttlefish was ticked off fairly early in the week, as I knew that I would be moving to Dubrovnik, with no guarantee of a fresh meat, and didn't want to risk losing out. I also knew that, as we were flying home on the Tuesday, even if I couldn't find anything in the next week, I would have a day at home to sort something out. All in all, I was feeling fairly confident. Of course, as soon as I start to think everything might get a little bit easier, nothing does.

Interestingly enough, I actually did have a new meat this week, and also a new style of an old meat. At the wedding, I had red snapper, which I hadn't previously had this year, but which I couldn't count as I was still trying, as much as possible, to stick to my original list, and I also, finally, had whole squid, rather than just calamari. That was delightful.

Anyway, most of the rest of the group had left the day before us, and, as we were left to look around the city one last time, Laura received a text. An exciting text. A text which told us that there was bear meat for sale at the airport.

No, I wasn't sure how we'd get it through customs. I needn't have worried, however, as it wasn't fresh bear steak, as I'd anticipated, but dried meat, rather like a large lump of bear biltong. We bought it (Laura has yet to let me forget just how much it cost. Let's just say that it certainly wasn't cheap) and it went in my shoulder bag. Of course, to be sold there, it had to be fine to take it out of the country, although that didn't stop me having a little flutter as we passed by the customs officials. Upon arriving home, I put him in the fridge, and waited till Wednesday.

Coming home from holiday is always a bit of a culture shock, so having that meat made me feel a little happier, like there was still a lit bit of Croatia with us. As dried meat does, it had a very chewy consistency, but was considerably sweeter than most jerky I'd ever had. Although I can't deny I was very disappointed not to have got a fresh bear steak, this made up for it in some small way, and became easily the most impressive animal I'd eaten this year. I mean, who wouldn't like to think they could take down a bear? And one day I will get myself a fresh one.

We had arrived home just in time for the farmer's market, and so had our monthly saunter to see what we might find. This time, I picked up a hare and some wild boar chops, meaning that two more weeks would be taken care of. The hare was put in the freezer, while the chops were left out for a midweek dinner - one which came around very quickly. Grilled, like a regular pork chop, with some mashed potatoes and vegetables, it was such a warming, traditional meal, and, more importantly, the chops were delicious. There was a good amount of fat on them, which really suffused the meat with flavour, and they were so thick that they were still a little pink in the middle, and were tender and juicy. All in all, the perfect chop. Granted, the flavour wasn't so different from a normal pork chop, although there was certainly a little something extra - although that could have just been the knowledge that I was still ticking along nicely, and enjoying a particularly fine meal.

The following week, I went back to Leeds to see my family. Now, going back home is, of course, always a delight, but it does give me some serious problems when it comes to finding new meat. I've found that I've always struggled a little, and so have had to have something before I go or after I get back. However, this time round, I had had nothing previously, and so had to find something to keep me going. and finally, on the Wednesday, I did, when Marks & Spencer presented me with Lemon Sole.

I honestly don't know if I've ever had sole before. I assume I have, as it is so normal, but I can't be certain. Anyway, I have now. Pan fried in a little butter, the sole was very tasty indeed, and I can imagine having it again. However, it wasn't the sensation that, for example, monkfish had been, so it's not the kind of thing I'll go and actually seek out. Should it fall in my lap, however, then who am I to complain?

Back home, it appeared I would have no problems with my next week. However, as Wednesday rolled around, and I realised I had forgotten to take the hare out of the freezer, I knew that there may well be a wee problemette.

But what to have? Scanning my list, I searched for something I could possibly get hold of. The only thing I could find were birds - if I could get a guinea fowl or quail at the market, then I'd be a happy fellow indeed. Sadly, it was not to be. I checked every butcher's I could think of, and none of them had anything that would help me. In the end, I made a big decision, and decided to once again break away from my list and venture into something else.

I had decided that if I was to break from my list, I'd try as far as possible to get something a little interesting. This time, I managed to buy some fresh king scallops. Now, due to their price tag and somewhat upmarket reputation, I had worried that they may be difficult to prepare, but this was not in any way the case. Simply fried in a little olive oil and butter, a minute or two on each side, the scallops were tremendous. I adore the texture of them - both soft and meaty, and, with a flavour that is not overpowering, it's clear to see why they are held in such regard.

Incidentally, queen scallops aren't nearly as good.

So there you have it. Another long distance catch up that has brought us now into the middle of October, just two and a half months from the completion of my challenge. There's trials and tribulations still to come, some terrifying and delicious animal prospects, and lots more beside. The next update will be don, so long as nothing gets in the way, tomorrow night, so, until then.

And, for those of you trying to keep up, and with some changes due to my new found meaty freedom, here's the updated table, up to and including week 41:

Herbivore Mammals
Bovine - Cow, Week 2 Buffalo, Week 19.
Ovine - Sheep, Week 5 Goat, Week 27.
Marsupia - Kangaroo, Week 21.
Rodentia - Rabbit, Week 13.

Omnivore Mammals
Porcine - Pig, Week 1 Wild Boar, Week 39.
Rodentia (a different one to the herbivore one)

Carnivore Mammals
Ursine - Bear, Week 38.

Arthropods
Insecta
- Winged - Crickets, Week 12.
- Unwinged – Mealworms, Week 10 (Mealworm Beetle Larva) Ants, Week 15.
Arachnid - Scorpion, Week 20.
Crustatia
- Sea - Prawns, Week 17 Crab, Week 23.

Reptilia
Crocodile, Week 26.

Fish
Scaled fish - Salmon, Week 6 Tuna, Week 33.
Flat fish - Monkfish, Week 30 Sole, Week 40.
Shark - Dogfish, Week 28 Shark, Week 36.

Mollusca
Bivalvia – Mussels, Week 11 Cockles, Week 29 Scallop, Week 41.
Cephalopoda - Octopus, Week 8 Squid, Week 24 Cuttlefish, Week 37.
Gastropoda - Whelks, Week 32 Snail, Week 35

Plus 10 different types of Bird - Turkey, Week 3 Chicken, Week 4 Ostrich, Week 7 Wood Pigeon, Week 16 Duck, Week 18 Goose, Week 22 Pheasant, Week 31 Partridge, Week 34.
Plus 2 Animals from classifications NOT on the list – Deer (Cervine), Week 9 Eel, Week 14.


365 days of meat.

Meat Weeks 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40 & 41. Thursday 27th August - Wednesday 14th October.

Good evening everyone, and welcome back to my odyssey of animals, the carnival of meat. Now, I accept that it has, once again, been an incredibly long time since my last update, but I have decided that we'll be all caught up by Christmas, meaning that, in the next two days, you're going to hear about over three months worth of delicious, and not so delicious, critters.

Before I get into that, however, let me first address my past pledge to give you all a pound per day over a fortnight that I didn't update. Well, if I'd have been three, four or even up to about seven days late, that would have been fine. As it is, this would bankrupt me, so I'll just get you a drink next time you ask me for one? Deal? Good. Then let's move on.

So, when I last let you, I was preparing to fly out to Croatia for my friend's wedding. Laura and I had decided to take this time as our holiday for the year and so, while the rest of the guests would be there for just a week, we would spend over three weeks in the youngest country I've ever visited.

Quite aside from the fact that I'd always wanted to go to Croatia since it once again became an independent nation in 1991 (don't ask me why, I have no idea. ), I was excited by the chance of finding different animals to eat which I may have struggles to get in the UK. In particular, I was looking forward to going, while we were in Zagreb, on a day trip to Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, as I'd read that edible dormouse was a Slovenian national delicacy. It promised to be a horizon altering trip, and I couldn't have looked forward to it more.

Anyway, I started the trip, technically, illegally, by taking my can of snails into the country. Having not had chance to eat them before we left, I just figured that I'd take them with me, giving me an easy meat whilst out there. However, I hadn't reckoned on a couple of things - firstly, none of the accommodation we stayed in for the whole holiday had an oven, which rendered the cooking instructions somewhat moot. Of course, I had no idea, at the time I had them, that this would be the case, as we were in our first private room. It may have been that every place we would have stayed in after that would have an oven, thus making the process much easier, but, unfortunately, I was running out of time in the week, and so had to improvise.

Having managed to get hold of some garlic from the hostel owner (having first learnt the Croatian word for garlic, as it was one of the few English words she didn't understand), I opened the tin, expecting to find snails in their shells. What I actually found were unshelled snails with no shells to put them in (which surprised me as the cooking instructions said to put them in the oven in their shells with garlic butter). So, I put my thinking hat on, and decided that I would fry the snails in the garlic butter, and to hell with the shells. As back-up plans go, it was quite elegant.

And, as it turned out, entirely misguided. I had no concept of how long I should cook the snails, and they came out gritty and horrible. I ate two, which were far too rubbery and not at all like they had been the first time I ever had them last year, when I was able to use an oven and follow instructions. These made me gag, and the rest were quickly discarded of, with absolutely no chance of Laura trying one. So, I would like to thank profusely my friend who got them for me, but feel I must apologise for the way they were treated. Sorry - but it was them in the bin, or me in the bathroom all night.

Unfortunately for me, and probably fortunately for you, this is not the right place for a lengthy love note to Croatia, detailing where we went and what we did. No, here, you just get to find out what I ate, making me sound more like an English tourist than I would ever have liked to be. To complete the persona, I'll just say that, for the most part, the weather was glorious. However, I will urge anyone who can to get out there before it gets overrun with tourists - right now, Croatia is beautiful, and resolutely 'foreign'. We didn't encounter another native English speaker for nearly the first two weeks of our holiday, and even then they were Australian rather than English. However, it can only be a matter of time before all that changes, and this proud nation is full of Brits Abroad, and we'll all have to try and find somewhere else off the beaten path.

Having survived yet another week, we moved onto Zagreb, me with half an eye on Ljubljana. Unfortunately, we just didn't have time, which meant that my hopes of edible dormouse were snuffed out. Even more disappointing was when we found out, on the day we were leaving, and too late for me to do anything about it, that in some of the more upmarket restaurants, I would have been able to eat a bear steak. Gutted doesn't quite describe it. And so, we headed on, still needing exciting animals.

Moving on through the country, we came to Pula, a coastal town in the North-West of the country. Here, we stayed in a holiday resort, our only resort of the holiday, which didn't exactly fill me with glee upon arrival. Having come hoping to find a taste of the real Croatia, I was now in the kind of bland place I'd hoped to avoid. As it was, it turned out not to be too bad, as were only there in the evenings for the most part, and our apartment was lovely - albeit still without an oven. Apparently, Slavs don't bake or roast.

The resort did, however, come up with one very welcome surprise - a restaurant which served shark. Knowing of Croatia's position on the Adriatic, and having been assured that much of the cuisine was based around seafood, this is something which I had saved from my list in order to have here. However, there was one problem. The first night we went there, they had no shark. The waiter seemed fairly confident that there would be some delivered in the next day or two, but I could not be so flippant - failure here would have rendered my entire year worthless.

However, nothing else was coming to mind. Of course, there were plenty of fish, but their sections of the list had already been completed. Thankfully, I found that the small restaurant by the pool served wild boar at lunchtime, giving me an escape route, although one I dearly hoped I wouldn't have to take - shark would be much easier to come by in Croatia than at home in the UK. And so, on Tuesday night, we made our way back to the restaurant, in hope if not in expectation. Thankfully, the waiter was right, and I was able to order my grilled shark steak.

I hadn't quite counted on what I would receive - three circular steaks, approximately six inches in diameter. I assume it was a nurse shark, or something of a similar size, and as the waiter was unable to enlighten me any further, that's what I'm sticking with. Whatever it was, it was delicious - a flaky, fish texture without too strong a flavour, but with a certain something which was hard to put my finger on. It was quite like a tuna steak, particularly in feel, and was more than worth giving up a delicious mozzarella stuffed veal steak for. Just.

Next on our whistle stop tour was Split, and I was hoping for something wonderful. However, I ran into problems. There was just nothing from my list that I could have, and I began to get a little desperate. After lengthy discussions with Laura, and the realisation that, unlike at home, where I could go ask a butcher or fishmonger for anything I wanted, and at the very least be understood, here, I was at the mercy of the restaurants, I decided that, in order to get through, I was going to have to go against my categories, and just have something new.

With this in mind, I emailed Captain Meat, and asked his permission to break away from what I was now coming to think of as 'guidelines' as opposed to rules. It was a tense wait, but the next day, there came a reply - we were all systems go to continue without strict parameters. I was disappointed, obviously, as I had hoped to complete the entire list, but with a choice between failure, and a different type of success, I chose Success 2.0.

And Success 2.0 was both very good, and something I'd wanted to try for a long time - black risotto with cuttlefish. Now, cuttlefish is incredibly like octopus and squid, with the same texture and, pretty much, the same flavour. The most exciting part of the meal was the squid ink risotto which was thoroughly delicious, if a little strange - eating black food is very unusual, and I've never been so filled by a meal before. There wasn't a great deal of cuttlefish in there, but what there was was delicious. I'll be more than happy to have that again.

Cuttlefish was ticked off fairly early in the week, as I knew that I would be moving to Dubrovnik, with no guarantee of a fresh meat, and didn't want to risk losing out. I also knew that, as we were flying home on the Tuesday, even if I couldn't find anything in the next week, I would have a day at home to sort something out. All in all, I was feeling fairly confident. Of course, as soon as I start to think everything might get a little bit easier, nothing does.

Interestingly enough, I actually did have a new meat this week, and also a new style of an old meat. At the wedding, I had red snapper, which I hadn't previously had this year, but which I couldn't count as I was still trying, as much as possible, to stick to my original list, and I also, finally, had whole squid, rather than just calamari. That was delightful.

Anyway, most of the rest of the group had left the day before us, and, as we were left to look around the city one last time, Laura received a text. An exciting text. A text which told us that there was bear meat for sale at the airport.

No, I wasn't sure how we'd get it through customs. I needn't have worried, however, as it wasn't fresh bear steak, as I'd anticipated, but dried meat, rather like a large lump of bear biltong. We bought it (Laura has yet to let me forget just how much it cost. Let's just say that it certainly wasn't cheap) and it went in my shoulder bag. Of course, to be sold there, it had to be fine to take it out of the country, although that didn't stop me having a little flutter as we passed by the customs officials. Upon arriving home, I put him in the fridge, and waited till Wednesday.

Coming home from holiday is always a bit of a culture shock, so having that meat made me feel a little happier, like there was still a lit bit of Croatia with us. As dried meat does, it had a very chewy consistency, but was considerably sweeter than most jerky I'd ever had. Although I can't deny I was very disappointed not to have got a fresh bear steak, this made up for it in some small way, and became easily the most impressive animal I'd eaten this year. I mean, who wouldn't like to think they could take down a bear? And one day I will get myself a fresh one.

We had arrived home just in time for the farmer's market, and so had our monthly saunter to see what we might find. This time, I picked up a hare and some wild boar chops, meaning that two more weeks would be taken care of. The hare was put in the freezer, while the chops were left out for a midweek dinner - one which came around very quickly. Grilled, like a regular pork chop, with some mashed potatoes and vegetables, it was such a warming, traditional meal, and, more importantly, the chops were delicious. There was a good amount of fat on them, which really suffused the meat with flavour, and they were so thick that they were still a little pink in the middle, and were tender and juicy. All in all, the perfect chop. Granted, the flavour wasn't so different from a normal pork chop, although there was certainly a little something extra - although that could have just been the knowledge that I was still ticking along nicely, and enjoying a particularly fine meal.

The following week, I went back to Leeds to see my family. Now, going back home is, of course, always a delight, but it does give me some serious problems when it comes to finding new meat. I've found that I've always struggled a little, and so have had to have something before I go or after I get back. However, this time round, I had had nothing previously, and so had to find something to keep me going. and finally, on the Wednesday, I did, when Marks & Spencer presented me with Lemon Sole.

I honestly don't know if I've ever had sole before. I assume I have, as it is so normal, but I can't be certain. Anyway, I have now. Pan fried in a little butter, the sole was very tasty indeed, and I can imagine having it again. However, it wasn't the sensation that, for example, monkfish had been, so it's not the kind of thing I'll go and actually seek out. Should it fall in my lap, however, then who am I to complain?

Back home, it appeared I would have no problems with my next week. However, as Wednesday rolled around, and I realised I had forgotten to take the hare out of the freezer, I knew that there may well be a wee problemette.

But what to have? Scanning my list, I searched for something I could possibly get hold of. The only thing I could find were birds - if I could get a guinea fowl or quail at the market, then I'd be a happy fellow indeed. Sadly, it was not to be. I checked every butcher's I could think of, and none of them had anything that would help me. In the end, I made a big decision, and decided to once again break away from my list and venture into something else.

I had decided that if I was to break from my list, I'd try as far as possible to get something a little interesting. This time, I managed to buy some fresh king scallops. Now, due to their price tag and somewhat upmarket reputation, I had worried that they may be difficult to prepare, but this was not in any way the case. Simply fried in a little olive oil and butter, a minute or two on each side, the scallops were tremendous. I adore the texture of them - both soft and meaty, and, with a flavour that is not overpowering, it's clear to see why they are held in such regard.

Incidentally, queen scallops aren't nearly as good.

So there you have it. Another long distance catch up that has brought us now into the middle of October, just two and a half months from the completion of my challenge. There's trials and tribulations still to come, some terrifying and delicious animal prospects, and lots more beside. The next update will be don, so long as nothing gets in the way, tomorrow night, so, until then.

And, for those of you trying to keep up, and with some changes due to my new found meaty freedom, here's the updated table, up to and including week 41:

Herbivore Mammals
Bovine - Cow, Week 2 Buffalo, Week 19.
Ovine - Sheep, Week 5 Goat, Week 27.
Marsupia - Kangaroo, Week 21.
Rodentia - Rabbit, Week 13.

Omnivore Mammals
Porcine - Pig, Week 1 Wild Boar, Week 39.
Rodentia (a different one to the herbivore one)

Carnivore Mammals
Ursine - Bear, Week 38.

Arthropods
Insecta
- Winged - Crickets, Week 12.
- Unwinged – Mealworms, Week 10 (Mealworm Beetle Larva) Ants, Week 15.
Arachnid - Scorpion, Week 20.
Crustatia
- Sea - Prawns, Week 17 Crab, Week 23.

Reptilia
Crocodile, Week 26.

Fish
Scaled fish - Salmon, Week 6 Tuna, Week 33.
Flat fish - Monkfish, Week 30 Sole, Week 40.
Shark - Dogfish, Week 28 Shark, Week 36.

Mollusca
Bivalvia – Mussels, Week 11 Cockles, Week 29 Scallop, Week 41.
Cephalopoda - Octopus, Week 8 Squid, Week 24 Cuttlefish, Week 37.
Gastropoda - Whelks, Week 32 Snail, Week 35

Plus 10 different types of Bird - Turkey, Week 3 Chicken, Week 4 Ostrich, Week 7 Wood Pigeon, Week 16 Duck, Week 18 Goose, Week 22 Pheasant, Week 31 Partridge, Week 34.
Plus 2 Animals from classifications NOT on the list – Deer (Cervine), Week 9 Eel, Week 14.


365 days of meat.

Meat Weeks 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40 & 41. Thursday 27th August - Wednesday 14th October.

Good evening everyone, and welcome back to my odyssey of animals, the carnival of meat. Now, I accept that it has, once again, been an incredibly long time since my last update, but I have decided that we'll be all caught up by Christmas, meaning that, in the next two days, you're going to hear about over three months worth of delicious, and not so delicious, critters.

Before I get into that, however, let me first address my past pledge to give you all a pound per day over a fortnight that I didn't update. Well, if I'd have been three, four or even up to about seven days late, that would have been fine. As it is, this would bankrupt me, so I'll just get you a drink next time you ask me for one? Deal? Good. Then let's move on.

So, when I last let you, I was preparing to fly out to Croatia for my friend's wedding. Laura and I had decided to take this time as our holiday for the year and so, while the rest of the guests would be there for just a week, we would spend over three weeks in the youngest country I've ever visited.

Quite aside from the fact that I'd always wanted to go to Croatia since it once again became an independent nation in 1991 (don't ask me why, I have no idea. ), I was excited by the chance of finding different animals to eat which I may have struggles to get in the UK. In particular, I was looking forward to going, while we were in Zagreb, on a day trip to Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, as I'd read that edible dormouse was a Slovenian national delicacy. It promised to be a horizon altering trip, and I couldn't have looked forward to it more.

Anyway, I started the trip, technically, illegally, by taking my can of snails into the country. Having not had chance to eat them before we left, I just figured that I'd take them with me, giving me an easy meat whilst out there. However, I hadn't reckoned on a couple of things - firstly, none of the accommodation we stayed in for the whole holiday had an oven, which rendered the cooking instructions somewhat moot. Of course, I had no idea, at the time I had them, that this would be the case, as we were in our first private room. It may have been that every place we would have stayed in after that would have an oven, thus making the process much easier, but, unfortunately, I was running out of time in the week, and so had to improvise.

Having managed to get hold of some garlic from the hostel owner (having first learnt the Croatian word for garlic, as it was one of the few English words she didn't understand), I opened the tin, expecting to find snails in their shells. What I actually found were unshelled snails with no shells to put them in (which surprised me as the cooking instructions said to put them in the oven in their shells with garlic butter). So, I put my thinking hat on, and decided that I would fry the snails in the garlic butter, and to hell with the shells. As back-up plans go, it was quite elegant.

And, as it turned out, entirely misguided. I had no concept of how long I should cook the snails, and they came out gritty and horrible. I ate two, which were far too rubbery and not at all like they had been the first time I ever had them last year, when I was able to use an oven and follow instructions. These made me gag, and the rest were quickly discarded of, with absolutely no chance of Laura trying one. So, I would like to thank profusely my friend who got them for me, but feel I must apologise for the way they were treated. Sorry - but it was them in the bin, or me in the bathroom all night.

Unfortunately for me, and probably fortunately for you, this is not the right place for a lengthy love note to Croatia, detailing where we went and what we did. No, here, you just get to find out what I ate, making me sound more like an English tourist than I would ever have liked to be. To complete the persona, I'll just say that, for the most part, the weather was glorious. However, I will urge anyone who can to get out there before it gets overrun with tourists - right now, Croatia is beautiful, and resolutely 'foreign'. We didn't encounter another native English speaker for nearly the first two weeks of our holiday, and even then they were Australian rather than English. However, it can only be a matter of time before all that changes, and this proud nation is full of Brits Abroad, and we'll all have to try and find somewhere else off the beaten path.

Having survived yet another week, we moved onto Zagreb, me with half an eye on Ljubljana. Unfortunately, we just didn't have time, which meant that my hopes of edible dormouse were snuffed out. Even more disappointing was when we found out, on the day we were leaving, and too late for me to do anything about it, that in some of the more upmarket restaurants, I would have been able to eat a bear steak. Gutted doesn't quite describe it. And so, we headed on, still needing exciting animals.

Moving on through the country, we came to Pula, a coastal town in the North-West of the country. Here, we stayed in a holiday resort, our only resort of the holiday, which didn't exactly fill me with glee upon arrival. Having come hoping to find a taste of the real Croatia, I was now in the kind of bland place I'd hoped to avoid. As it was, it turned out not to be too bad, as were only there in the evenings for the most part, and our apartment was lovely - albeit still without an oven. Apparently, Slavs don't bake or roast.

The resort did, however, come up with one very welcome surprise - a restaurant which served shark. Knowing of Croatia's position on the Adriatic, and having been assured that much of the cuisine was based around seafood, this is something which I had saved from my list in order to have here. However, there was one problem. The first night we went there, they had no shark. The waiter seemed fairly confident that there would be some delivered in the next day or two, but I could not be so flippant - failure here would have rendered my entire year worthless.

However, nothing else was coming to mind. Of course, there were plenty of fish, but their sections of the list had already been completed. Thankfully, I found that the small restaurant by the pool served wild boar at lunchtime, giving me an escape route, although one I dearly hoped I wouldn't have to take - shark would be much easier to come by in Croatia than at home in the UK. And so, on Tuesday night, we made our way back to the restaurant, in hope if not in expectation. Thankfully, the waiter was right, and I was able to order my grilled shark steak.

I hadn't quite counted on what I would receive - three circular steaks, approximately six inches in diameter. I assume it was a nurse shark, or something of a similar size, and as the waiter was unable to enlighten me any further, that's what I'm sticking with. Whatever it was, it was delicious - a flaky, fish texture without too strong a flavour, but with a certain something which was hard to put my finger on. It was quite like a tuna steak, particularly in feel, and was more than worth giving up a delicious mozzarella stuffed veal steak for. Just.

Next on our whistle stop tour was Split, and I was hoping for something wonderful. However, I ran into problems. There was just nothing from my list that I could have, and I began to get a little desperate. After lengthy discussions with Laura, and the realisation that, unlike at home, where I could go ask a butcher or fishmonger for anything I wanted, and at the very least be understood, here, I was at the mercy of the restaurants, I decided that, in order to get through, I was going to have to go against my categories, and just have something new.

With this in mind, I emailed Captain Meat, and asked his permission to break away from what I was now coming to think of as 'guidelines' as opposed to rules. It was a tense wait, but the next day, there came a reply - we were all systems go to continue without strict parameters. I was disappointed, obviously, as I had hoped to complete the entire list, but with a choice between failure, and a different type of success, I chose Success 2.0.

And Success 2.0 was both very good, and something I'd wanted to try for a long time - black risotto with cuttlefish. Now, cuttlefish is incredibly like octopus and squid, with the same texture and, pretty much, the same flavour. The most exciting part of the meal was the squid ink risotto which was thoroughly delicious, if a little strange - eating black food is very unusual, and I've never been so filled by a meal before. There wasn't a great deal of cuttlefish in there, but what there was was delicious. I'll be more than happy to have that again.

Cuttlefish was ticked off fairly early in the week, as I knew that I would be moving to Dubrovnik, with no guarantee of a fresh meat, and didn't want to risk losing out. I also knew that, as we were flying home on the Tuesday, even if I couldn't find anything in the next week, I would have a day at home to sort something out. All in all, I was feeling fairly confident. Of course, as soon as I start to think everything might get a little bit easier, nothing does.

Interestingly enough, I actually did have a new meat this week, and also a new style of an old meat. At the wedding, I had red snapper, which I hadn't previously had this year, but which I couldn't count as I was still trying, as much as possible, to stick to my original list, and I also, finally, had whole squid, rather than just calamari. That was delightful.

Anyway, most of the rest of the group had left the day before us, and, as we were left to look around the city one last time, Laura received a text. An exciting text. A text which told us that there was bear meat for sale at the airport.

No, I wasn't sure how we'd get it through customs. I needn't have worried, however, as it wasn't fresh bear steak, as I'd anticipated, but dried meat, rather like a large lump of bear biltong. We bought it (Laura has yet to let me forget just how much it cost. Let's just say that it certainly wasn't cheap) and it went in my shoulder bag. Of course, to be sold there, it had to be fine to take it out of the country, although that didn't stop me having a little flutter as we passed by the customs officials. Upon arriving home, I put him in the fridge, and waited till Wednesday.

Coming home from holiday is always a bit of a culture shock, so having that meat made me feel a little happier, like there was still a lit bit of Croatia with us. As dried meat does, it had a very chewy consistency, but was considerably sweeter than most jerky I'd ever had. Although I can't deny I was very disappointed not to have got a fresh bear steak, this made up for it in some small way, and became easily the most impressive animal I'd eaten this year. I mean, who wouldn't like to think they could take down a bear? And one day I will get myself a fresh one.

We had arrived home just in time for the farmer's market, and so had our monthly saunter to see what we might find. This time, I picked up a hare and some wild boar chops, meaning that two more weeks would be taken care of. The hare was put in the freezer, while the chops were left out for a midweek dinner - one which came around very quickly. Grilled, like a regular pork chop, with some mashed potatoes and vegetables, it was such a warming, traditional meal, and, more importantly, the chops were delicious. There was a good amount of fat on them, which really suffused the meat with flavour, and they were so thick that they were still a little pink in the middle, and were tender and juicy. All in all, the perfect chop. Granted, the flavour wasn't so different from a normal pork chop, although there was certainly a little something extra - although that could have just been the knowledge that I was still ticking along nicely, and enjoying a particularly fine meal.

The following week, I went back to Leeds to see my family. Now, going back home is, of course, always a delight, but it does give me some serious problems when it comes to finding new meat. I've found that I've always struggled a little, and so have had to have something before I go or after I get back. However, this time round, I had had nothing previously, and so had to find something to keep me going. and finally, on the Wednesday, I did, when Marks & Spencer presented me with Lemon Sole.

I honestly don't know if I've ever had sole before. I assume I have, as it is so normal, but I can't be certain. Anyway, I have now. Pan fried in a little butter, the sole was very tasty indeed, and I can imagine having it again. However, it wasn't the sensation that, for example, monkfish had been, so it's not the kind of thing I'll go and actually seek out. Should it fall in my lap, however, then who am I to complain?

Back home, it appeared I would have no problems with my next week. However, as Wednesday rolled around, and I realised I had forgotten to take the hare out of the freezer, I knew that there may well be a wee problemette.

But what to have? Scanning my list, I searched for something I could possibly get hold of. The only thing I could find were birds - if I could get a guinea fowl or quail at the market, then I'd be a happy fellow indeed. Sadly, it was not to be. I checked every butcher's I could think of, and none of them had anything that would help me. In the end, I made a big decision, and decided to once again break away from my list and venture into something else.

I had decided that if I was to break from my list, I'd try as far as possible to get something a little interesting. This time, I managed to buy some fresh king scallops. Now, due to their price tag and somewhat upmarket reputation, I had worried that they may be difficult to prepare, but this was not in any way the case. Simply fried in a little olive oil and butter, a minute or two on each side, the scallops were tremendous. I adore the texture of them - both soft and meaty, and, with a flavour that is not overpowering, it's clear to see why they are held in such regard.

Incidentally, queen scallops aren't nearly as good.

So there you have it. Another long distance catch up that has brought us now into the middle of October, just two and a half months from the completion of my challenge. There's trials and tribulations still to come, some terrifying and delicious animal prospects, and lots more beside. The next update will be don, so long as nothing gets in the way, tomorrow night, so, until then.

And, for those of you trying to keep up, and with some changes due to my new found meaty freedom, here's the updated table, up to and including week 41:

Herbivore Mammals
Bovine - Cow, Week 2 Buffalo, Week 19.
Ovine - Sheep, Week 5 Goat, Week 27.
Marsupia - Kangaroo, Week 21.
Rodentia - Rabbit, Week 13.

Omnivore Mammals
Porcine - Pig, Week 1 Wild Boar, Week 39.
Rodentia (a different one to the herbivore one)

Carnivore Mammals
Ursine - Bear, Week 38.

Arthropods
Insecta
- Winged - Crickets, Week 12.
- Unwinged – Mealworms, Week 10 (Mealworm Beetle Larva) Ants, Week 15.
Arachnid - Scorpion, Week 20.
Crustatia
- Sea - Prawns, Week 17 Crab, Week 23.

Reptilia
Crocodile, Week 26.

Fish
Scaled fish - Salmon, Week 6 Tuna, Week 33.
Flat fish - Monkfish, Week 30 Sole, Week 40.
Shark - Dogfish, Week 28 Shark, Week 36.

Mollusca
Bivalvia – Mussels, Week 11 Cockles, Week 29 Scallop, Week 41.
Cephalopoda - Octopus, Week 8 Squid, Week 24 Cuttlefish, Week 37.
Gastropoda - Whelks, Week 32 Snail, Week 35

Plus 10 different types of Bird - Turkey, Week 3 Chicken, Week 4 Ostrich, Week 7 Wood Pigeon, Week 16 Duck, Week 18 Goose, Week 22 Pheasant, Week 31 Partridge, Week 34.
Plus 2 Animals from classifications NOT on the list – Deer (Cervine), Week 9 Eel, Week 14.


365 days of meat.

Meat Weeks 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40 & 41. Thursday 27th August - Wednesday 14th October.

Good evening everyone, and welcome back to my odyssey of animals, the carnival of meat. Now, I accept that it has, once again, been an incredibly long time since my last update, but I have decided that we'll be all caught up by Christmas, meaning that, in the next two days, you're going to hear about over three months worth of delicious, and not so delicious, critters.

Before I get into that, however, let me first address my past pledge to give you all a pound per day over a fortnight that I didn't update. Well, if I'd have been three, four or even up to about seven days late, that would have been fine. As it is, this would bankrupt me, so I'll just get you a drink next time you ask me for one? Deal? Good. Then let's move on.

So, when I last let you, I was preparing to fly out to Croatia for my friend's wedding. Laura and I had decided to take this time as our holiday for the year and so, while the rest of the guests would be there for just a week, we would spend over three weeks in the youngest country I've ever visited.

Quite aside from the fact that I'd always wanted to go to Croatia since it once again became an independent nation in 1991 (don't ask me why, I have no idea. ), I was excited by the chance of finding different animals to eat which I may have struggles to get in the UK. In particular, I was looking forward to going, while we were in Zagreb, on a day trip to Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, as I'd read that edible dormouse was a Slovenian national delicacy. It promised to be a horizon altering trip, and I couldn't have looked forward to it more.

Anyway, I started the trip, technically, illegally, by taking my can of snails into the country. Having not had chance to eat them before we left, I just figured that I'd take them with me, giving me an easy meat whilst out there. However, I hadn't reckoned on a couple of things - firstly, none of the accommodation we stayed in for the whole holiday had an oven, which rendered the cooking instructions somewhat moot. Of course, I had no idea, at the time I had them, that this would be the case, as we were in our first private room. It may have been that every place we would have stayed in after that would have an oven, thus making the process much easier, but, unfortunately, I was running out of time in the week, and so had to improvise.

Having managed to get hold of some garlic from the hostel owner (having first learnt the Croatian word for garlic, as it was one of the few English words she didn't understand), I opened the tin, expecting to find snails in their shells. What I actually found were unshelled snails with no shells to put them in (which surprised me as the cooking instructions said to put them in the oven in their shells with garlic butter). So, I put my thinking hat on, and decided that I would fry the snails in the garlic butter, and to hell with the shells. As back-up plans go, it was quite elegant.

And, as it turned out, entirely misguided. I had no concept of how long I should cook the snails, and they came out gritty and horrible. I ate two, which were far too rubbery and not at all like they had been the first time I ever had them last year, when I was able to use an oven and follow instructions. These made me gag, and the rest were quickly discarded of, with absolutely no chance of Laura trying one. So, I would like to thank profusely my friend who got them for me, but feel I must apologise for the way they were treated. Sorry - but it was them in the bin, or me in the bathroom all night.

Unfortunately for me, and probably fortunately for you, this is not the right place for a lengthy love note to Croatia, detailing where we went and what we did. No, here, you just get to find out what I ate, making me sound more like an English tourist than I would ever have liked to be. To complete the persona, I'll just say that, for the most part, the weather was glorious. However, I will urge anyone who can to get out there before it gets overrun with tourists - right now, Croatia is beautiful, and resolutely 'foreign'. We didn't encounter another native English speaker for nearly the first two weeks of our holiday, and even then they were Australian rather than English. However, it can only be a matter of time before all that changes, and this proud nation is full of Brits Abroad, and we'll all have to try and find somewhere else off the beaten path.

Having survived yet another week, we moved onto Zagreb, me with half an eye on Ljubljana. Unfortunately, we just didn't have time, which meant that my hopes of edible dormouse were snuffed out. Even more disappointing was when we found out, on the day we were leaving, and too late for me to do anything about it, that in some of the more upmarket restaurants, I would have been able to eat a bear steak. Gutted doesn't quite describe it. And so, we headed on, still needing exciting animals.

Moving on through the country, we came to Pula, a coastal town in the North-West of the country. Here, we stayed in a holiday resort, our only resort of the holiday, which didn't exactly fill me with glee upon arrival. Having come hoping to find a taste of the real Croatia, I was now in the kind of bland place I'd hoped to avoid. As it was, it turned out not to be too bad, as were only there in the evenings for the most part, and our apartment was lovely - albeit still without an oven. Apparently, Slavs don't bake or roast.

The resort did, however, come up with one very welcome surprise - a restaurant which served shark. Knowing of Croatia's position on the Adriatic, and having been assured that much of the cuisine was based around seafood, this is something which I had saved from my list in order to have here. However, there was one problem. The first night we went there, they had no shark. The waiter seemed fairly confident that there would be some delivered in the next day or two, but I could not be so flippant - failure here would have rendered my entire year worthless.

However, nothing else was coming to mind. Of course, there were plenty of fish, but their sections of the list had already been completed. Thankfully, I found that the small restaurant by the pool served wild boar at lunchtime, giving me an escape route, although one I dearly hoped I wouldn't have to take - shark would be much easier to come by in Croatia than at home in the UK. And so, on Tuesday night, we made our way back to the restaurant, in hope if not in expectation. Thankfully, the waiter was right, and I was able to order my grilled shark steak.

I hadn't quite counted on what I would receive - three circular steaks, approximately six inches in diameter. I assume it was a nurse shark, or something of a similar size, and as the waiter was unable to enlighten me any further, that's what I'm sticking with. Whatever it was, it was delicious - a flaky, fish texture without too strong a flavour, but with a certain something which was hard to put my finger on. It was quite like a tuna steak, particularly in feel, and was more than worth giving up a delicious mozzarella stuffed veal steak for. Just.

Next on our whistle stop tour was Split, and I was hoping for something wonderful. However, I ran into problems. There was just nothing from my list that I could have, and I began to get a little desperate. After lengthy discussions with Laura, and the realisation that, unlike at home, where I could go ask a butcher or fishmonger for anything I wanted, and at the very least be understood, here, I was at the mercy of the restaurants, I decided that, in order to get through, I was going to have to go against my categories, and just have something new.

With this in mind, I emailed Captain Meat, and asked his permission to break away from what I was now coming to think of as 'guidelines' as opposed to rules. It was a tense wait, but the next day, there came a reply - we were all systems go to continue without strict parameters. I was disappointed, obviously, as I had hoped to complete the entire list, but with a choice between failure, and a different type of success, I chose Success 2.0.

And Success 2.0 was both very good, and something I'd wanted to try for a long time - black risotto with cuttlefish. Now, cuttlefish is incredibly like octopus and squid, with the same texture and, pretty much, the same flavour. The most exciting part of the meal was the squid ink risotto which was thoroughly delicious, if a little strange - eating black food is very unusual, and I've never been so filled by a meal before. There wasn't a great deal of cuttlefish in there, but what there was was delicious. I'll be more than happy to have that again.

Cuttlefish was ticked off fairly early in the week, as I knew that I would be moving to Dubrovnik, with no guarantee of a fresh meat, and didn't want to risk losing out. I also knew that, as we were flying home on the Tuesday, even if I couldn't find anything in the next week, I would have a day at home to sort something out. All in all, I was feeling fairly confident. Of course, as soon as I start to think everything might get a little bit easier, nothing does.

Interestingly enough, I actually did have a new meat this week, and also a new style of an old meat. At the wedding, I had red snapper, which I hadn't previously had this year, but which I couldn't count as I was still trying, as much as possible, to stick to my original list, and I also, finally, had whole squid, rather than just calamari. That was delightful.

Anyway, most of the rest of the group had left the day before us, and, as we were left to look around the city one last time, Laura received a text. An exciting text. A text which told us that there was bear meat for sale at the airport.

No, I wasn't sure how we'd get it through customs. I needn't have worried, however, as it wasn't fresh bear steak, as I'd anticipated, but dried meat, rather like a large lump of bear biltong. We bought it (Laura has yet to let me forget just how much it cost. Let's just say that it certainly wasn't cheap) and it went in my shoulder bag. Of course, to be sold there, it had to be fine to take it out of the country, although that didn't stop me having a little flutter as we passed by the customs officials. Upon arriving home, I put him in the fridge, and waited till Wednesday.

Coming home from holiday is always a bit of a culture shock, so having that meat made me feel a little happier, like there was still a lit bit of Croatia with us. As dried meat does, it had a very chewy consistency, but was considerably sweeter than most jerky I'd ever had. Although I can't deny I was very disappointed not to have got a fresh bear steak, this made up for it in some small way, and became easily the most impressive animal I'd eaten this year. I mean, who wouldn't like to think they could take down a bear? And one day I will get myself a fresh one.

We had arrived home just in time for the farmer's market, and so had our monthly saunter to see what we might find. This time, I picked up a hare and some wild boar chops, meaning that two more weeks would be taken care of. The hare was put in the freezer, while the chops were left out for a midweek dinner - one which came around very quickly. Grilled, like a regular pork chop, with some mashed potatoes and vegetables, it was such a warming, traditional meal, and, more importantly, the chops were delicious. There was a good amount of fat on them, which really suffused the meat with flavour, and they were so thick that they were still a little pink in the middle, and were tender and juicy. All in all, the perfect chop. Granted, the flavour wasn't so different from a normal pork chop, although there was certainly a little something extra - although that could have just been the knowledge that I was still ticking along nicely, and enjoying a particularly fine meal.

The following week, I went back to Leeds to see my family. Now, going back home is, of course, always a delight, but it does give me some serious problems when it comes to finding new meat. I've found that I've always struggled a little, and so have had to have something before I go or after I get back. However, this time round, I had had nothing previously, and so had to find something to keep me going. and finally, on the Wednesday, I did, when Marks & Spencer presented me with Lemon Sole.

I honestly don't know if I've ever had sole before. I assume I have, as it is so normal, but I can't be certain. Anyway, I have now. Pan fried in a little butter, the sole was very tasty indeed, and I can imagine having it again. However, it wasn't the sensation that, for example, monkfish had been, so it's not the kind of thing I'll go and actually seek out. Should it fall in my lap, however, then who am I to complain?

Back home, it appeared I would have no problems with my next week. However, as Wednesday rolled around, and I realised I had forgotten to take the hare out of the freezer, I knew that there may well be a wee problemette.

But what to have? Scanning my list, I searched for something I could possibly get hold of. The only thing I could find were birds - if I could get a guinea fowl or quail at the market, then I'd be a happy fellow indeed. Sadly, it was not to be. I checked every butcher's I could think of, and none of them had anything that would help me. In the end, I made a big decision, and decided to once again break away from my list and venture into something else.

I had decided that if I was to break from my list, I'd try as far as possible to get something a little interesting. This time, I managed to buy some fresh king scallops. Now, due to their price tag and somewhat upmarket reputation, I had worried that they may be difficult to prepare, but this was not in any way the case. Simply fried in a little olive oil and butter, a minute or two on each side, the scallops were tremendous. I adore the texture of them - both soft and meaty, and, with a flavour that is not overpowering, it's clear to see why they are held in such regard.

Incidentally, queen scallops aren't nearly as good.

So there you have it. Another long distance catch up that has brought us now into the middle of October, just two and a half months from the completion of my challenge. There's trials and tribulations still to come, some terrifying and delicious animal prospects, and lots more beside. The next update will be don, so long as nothing gets in the way, tomorrow night, so, until then.

And, for those of you trying to keep up, and with some changes due to my new found meaty freedom, here's the updated table, up to and including week 41:

Herbivore Mammals
Bovine - Cow, Week 2 Buffalo, Week 19.
Ovine - Sheep, Week 5 Goat, Week 27.
Marsupia - Kangaroo, Week 21.
Rodentia - Rabbit, Week 13.

Omnivore Mammals
Porcine - Pig, Week 1 Wild Boar, Week 39.
Rodentia (a different one to the herbivore one)

Carnivore Mammals
Ursine - Bear, Week 38.

Arthropods
Insecta
- Winged - Crickets, Week 12.
- Unwinged – Mealworms, Week 10 (Mealworm Beetle Larva) Ants, Week 15.
Arachnid - Scorpion, Week 20.
Crustatia
- Sea - Prawns, Week 17 Crab, Week 23.

Reptilia
Crocodile, Week 26.

Fish
Scaled fish - Salmon, Week 6 Tuna, Week 33.
Flat fish - Monkfish, Week 30 Sole, Week 40.
Shark - Dogfish, Week 28 Shark, Week 36.

Mollusca
Bivalvia – Mussels, Week 11 Cockles, Week 29 Scallop, Week 41.
Cephalopoda - Octopus, Week 8 Squid, Week 24 Cuttlefish, Week 37.
Gastropoda - Whelks, Week 32 Snail, Week 35

Plus 10 different types of Bird - Turkey, Week 3 Chicken, Week 4 Ostrich, Week 7 Wood Pigeon, Week 16 Duck, Week 18 Goose, Week 22 Pheasant, Week 31 Partridge, Week 34.
Plus 2 Animals from classifications NOT on the list – Deer (Cervine), Week 9 Eel, Week 14.


365 days of meat.

Meat Weeks 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40 & 41. Thursday 27th August - Wednesday 14th October.

Good evening everyone, and welcome back to my odyssey of animals, the carnival of meat. Now, I accept that it has, once again, been an incredibly long time since my last update, but I have decided that we'll be all caught up by Christmas, meaning that, in the next two days, you're going to hear about over three months worth of delicious, and not so delicious, critters.

Before I get into that, however, let me first address my past pledge to give you all a pound per day over a fortnight that I didn't update. Well, if I'd have been three, four or even up to about seven days late, that would have been fine. As it is, this would bankrupt me, so I'll just get you a drink next time you ask me for one? Deal? Good. Then let's move on.

So, when I last let you, I was preparing to fly out to Croatia for my friend's wedding. Laura and I had decided to take this time as our holiday for the year and so, while the rest of the guests would be there for just a week, we would spend over three weeks in the youngest country I've ever visited.

Quite aside from the fact that I'd always wanted to go to Croatia since it once again became an independent nation in 1991 (don't ask me why, I have no idea. ), I was excited by the chance of finding different animals to eat which I may have struggles to get in the UK. In particular, I was looking forward to going, while we were in Zagreb, on a day trip to Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, as I'd read that edible dormouse was a Slovenian national delicacy. It promised to be a horizon altering trip, and I couldn't have looked forward to it more.

Anyway, I started the trip, technically, illegally, by taking my can of snails into the country. Having not had chance to eat them before we left, I just figured that I'd take them with me, giving me an easy meat whilst out there. However, I hadn't reckoned on a couple of things - firstly, none of the accommodation we stayed in for the whole holiday had an oven, which rendered the cooking instructions somewhat moot. Of course, I had no idea, at the time I had them, that this would be the case, as we were in our first private room. It may have been that every place we would have stayed in after that would have an oven, thus making the process much easier, but, unfortunately, I was running out of time in the week, and so had to improvise.

Having managed to get hold of some garlic from the hostel owner (having first learnt the Croatian word for garlic, as it was one of the few English words she didn't understand), I opened the tin, expecting to find snails in their shells. What I actually found were unshelled snails with no shells to put them in (which surprised me as the cooking instructions said to put them in the oven in their shells with garlic butter). So, I put my thinking hat on, and decided that I would fry the snails in the garlic butter, and to hell with the shells. As back-up plans go, it was quite elegant.

And, as it turned out, entirely misguided. I had no concept of how long I should cook the snails, and they came out gritty and horrible. I ate two, which were far too rubbery and not at all like they had been the first time I ever had them last year, when I was able to use an oven and follow instructions. These made me gag, and the rest were quickly discarded of, with absolutely no chance of Laura trying one. So, I would like to thank profusely my friend who got them for me, but feel I must apologise for the way they were treated. Sorry - but it was them in the bin, or me in the bathroom all night.

Unfortunately for me, and probably fortunately for you, this is not the right place for a lengthy love note to Croatia, detailing where we went and what we did. No, here, you just get to find out what I ate, making me sound more like an English tourist than I would ever have liked to be. To complete the persona, I'll just say that, for the most part, the weather was glorious. However, I will urge anyone who can to get out there before it gets overrun with tourists - right now, Croatia is beautiful, and resolutely 'foreign'. We didn't encounter another native English speaker for nearly the first two weeks of our holiday, and even then they were Australian rather than English. However, it can only be a matter of time before all that changes, and this proud nation is full of Brits Abroad, and we'll all have to try and find somewhere else off the beaten path.

Having survived yet another week, we moved onto Zagreb, me with half an eye on Ljubljana. Unfortunately, we just didn't have time, which meant that my hopes of edible dormouse were snuffed out. Even more disappointing was when we found out, on the day we were leaving, and too late for me to do anything about it, that in some of the more upmarket restaurants, I would have been able to eat a bear steak. Gutted doesn't quite describe it. And so, we headed on, still needing exciting animals.

Moving on through the country, we came to Pula, a coastal town in the North-West of the country. Here, we stayed in a holiday resort, our only resort of the holiday, which didn't exactly fill me with glee upon arrival. Having come hoping to find a taste of the real Croatia, I was now in the kind of bland place I'd hoped to avoid. As it was, it turned out not to be too bad, as were only there in the evenings for the most part, and our apartment was lovely - albeit still without an oven. Apparently, Slavs don't bake or roast.

The resort did, however, come up with one very welcome surprise - a restaurant which served shark. Knowing of Croatia's position on the Adriatic, and having been assured that much of the cuisine was based around seafood, this is something which I had saved from my list in order to have here. However, there was one problem. The first night we went there, they had no shark. The waiter seemed fairly confident that there would be some delivered in the next day or two, but I could not be so flippant - failure here would have rendered my entire year worthless.

However, nothing else was coming to mind. Of course, there were plenty of fish, but their sections of the list had already been completed. Thankfully, I found that the small restaurant by the pool served wild boar at lunchtime, giving me an escape route, although one I dearly hoped I wouldn't have to take - shark would be much easier to come by in Croatia than at home in the UK. And so, on Tuesday night, we made our way back to the restaurant, in hope if not in expectation. Thankfully, the waiter was right, and I was able to order my grilled shark steak.

I hadn't quite counted on what I would receive - three circular steaks, approximately six inches in diameter. I assume it was a nurse shark, or something of a similar size, and as the waiter was unable to enlighten me any further, that's what I'm sticking with. Whatever it was, it was delicious - a flaky, fish texture without too strong a flavour, but with a certain something which was hard to put my finger on. It was quite like a tuna steak, particularly in feel, and was more than worth giving up a delicious mozzarella stuffed veal steak for. Just.

Next on our whistle stop tour was Split, and I was hoping for something wonderful. However, I ran into problems. There was just nothing from my list that I could have, and I began to get a little desperate. After lengthy discussions with Laura, and the realisation that, unlike at home, where I could go ask a butcher or fishmonger for anything I wanted, and at the very least be understood, here, I was at the mercy of the restaurants, I decided that, in order to get through, I was going to have to go against my categories, and just have something new.

With this in mind, I emailed Captain Meat, and asked his permission to break away from what I was now coming to think of as 'guidelines' as opposed to rules. It was a tense wait, but the next day, there came a reply - we were all systems go to continue without strict parameters. I was disappointed, obviously, as I had hoped to complete the entire list, but with a choice between failure, and a different type of success, I chose Success 2.0.

And Success 2.0 was both very good, and something I'd wanted to try for a long time - black risotto with cuttlefish. Now, cuttlefish is incredibly like octopus and squid, with the same texture and, pretty much, the same flavour. The most exciting part of the meal was the squid ink risotto which was thoroughly delicious, if a little strange - eating black food is very unusual, and I've never been so filled by a meal before. There wasn't a great deal of cuttlefish in there, but what there was was delicious. I'll be more than happy to have that again.

Cuttlefish was ticked off fairly early in the week, as I knew that I would be moving to Dubrovnik, with no guarantee of a fresh meat, and didn't want to risk losing out. I also knew that, as we were flying home on the Tuesday, even if I couldn't find anything in the next week, I would have a day at home to sort something out. All in all, I was feeling fairly confident. Of course, as soon as I start to think everything might get a little bit easier, nothing does.

Interestingly enough, I actually did have a new meat this week, and also a new style of an old meat. At the wedding, I had red snapper, which I hadn't previously had this year, but which I couldn't count as I was still trying, as much as possible, to stick to my original list, and I also, finally, had whole squid, rather than just calamari. That was delightful.

Anyway, most of the rest of the group had left the day before us, and, as we were left to look around the city one last time, Laura received a text. An exciting text. A text which told us that there was bear meat for sale at the airport.

No, I wasn't sure how we'd get it through customs. I needn't have worried, however, as it wasn't fresh bear steak, as I'd anticipated, but dried meat, rather like a large lump of bear biltong. We bought it (Laura has yet to let me forget just how much it cost. Let's just say that it certainly wasn't cheap) and it went in my shoulder bag. Of course, to be sold there, it had to be fine to take it out of the country, although that didn't stop me having a little flutter as we passed by the customs officials. Upon arriving home, I put him in the fridge, and waited till Wednesday.

Coming home from holiday is always a bit of a culture shock, so having that meat made me feel a little happier, like there was still a lit bit of Croatia with us. As dried meat does, it had a very chewy consistency, but was considerably sweeter than most jerky I'd ever had. Although I can't deny I was very disappointed not to have got a fresh bear steak, this made up for it in some small way, and became easily the most impressive animal I'd eaten this year. I mean, who wouldn't like to think they could take down a bear? And one day I will get myself a fresh one.

We had arrived home just in time for the farmer's market, and so had our monthly saunter to see what we might find. This time, I picked up a hare and some wild boar chops, meaning that two more weeks would be taken care of. The hare was put in the freezer, while the chops were left out for a midweek dinner - one which came around very quickly. Grilled, like a regular pork chop, with some mashed potatoes and vegetables, it was such a warming, traditional meal, and, more importantly, the chops were delicious. There was a good amount of fat on them, which really suffused the meat with flavour, and they were so thick that they were still a little pink in the middle, and were tender and juicy. All in all, the perfect chop. Granted, the flavour wasn't so different from a normal pork chop, although there was certainly a little something extra - although that could have just been the knowledge that I was still ticking along nicely, and enjoying a particularly fine meal.

The following week, I went back to Leeds to see my family. Now, going back home is, of course, always a delight, but it does give me some serious problems when it comes to finding new meat. I've found that I've always struggled a little, and so have had to have something before I go or after I get back. However, this time round, I had had nothing previously, and so had to find something to keep me going. and finally, on the Wednesday, I did, when Marks & Spencer presented me with Lemon Sole.

I honestly don't know if I've ever had sole before. I assume I have, as it is so normal, but I can't be certain. Anyway, I have now. Pan fried in a little butter, the sole was very tasty indeed, and I can imagine having it again. However, it wasn't the sensation that, for example, monkfish had been, so it's not the kind of thing I'll go and actually seek out. Should it fall in my lap, however, then who am I to complain?

Back home, it appeared I would have no problems with my next week. However, as Wednesday rolled around, and I realised I had forgotten to take the hare out of the freezer, I knew that there may well be a wee problemette.

But what to have? Scanning my list, I searched for something I could possibly get hold of. The only thing I could find were birds - if I could get a guinea fowl or quail at the market, then I'd be a happy fellow indeed. Sadly, it was not to be. I checked every butcher's I could think of, and none of them had anything that would help me. In the end, I made a big decision, and decided to once again break away from my list and venture into something else.

I had decided that if I was to break from my list, I'd try as far as possible to get something a little interesting. This time, I managed to buy some fresh king scallops. Now, due to their price tag and somewhat upmarket reputation, I had worried that they may be difficult to prepare, but this was not in any way the case. Simply fried in a little olive oil and butter, a minute or two on each side, the scallops were tremendous. I adore the texture of them - both soft and meaty, and, with a flavour that is not overpowering, it's clear to see why they are held in such regard.

Incidentally, queen scallops aren't nearly as good.

So there you have it. Another long distance catch up that has brought us now into the middle of October, just two and a half months from the completion of my challenge. There's trials and tribulations still to come, some terrifying and delicious animal prospects, and lots more beside. The next update will be don, so long as nothing gets in the way, tomorrow night, so, until then.

And, for those of you trying to keep up, and with some changes due to my new found meaty freedom, here's the updated table, up to and including week 41:

Herbivore Mammals
Bovine - Cow, Week 2 Buffalo, Week 19.
Ovine - Sheep, Week 5 Goat, Week 27.
Marsupia - Kangaroo, Week 21.
Rodentia - Rabbit, Week 13.

Omnivore Mammals
Porcine - Pig, Week 1 Wild Boar, Week 39.
Rodentia (a different one to the herbivore one)

Carnivore Mammals
Ursine - Bear, Week 38.

Arthropods
Insecta
- Winged - Crickets, Week 12.
- Unwinged – Mealworms, Week 10 (Mealworm Beetle Larva) Ants, Week 15.
Arachnid - Scorpion, Week 20.
Crustatia
- Sea - Prawns, Week 17 Crab, Week 23.

Reptilia
Crocodile, Week 26.

Fish
Scaled fish - Salmon, Week 6 Tuna, Week 33.
Flat fish - Monkfish, Week 30 Sole, Week 40.
Shark - Dogfish, Week 28 Shark, Week 36.

Mollusca
Bivalvia – Mussels, Week 11 Cockles, Week 29 Scallop, Week 41.
Cephalopoda - Octopus, Week 8 Squid, Week 24 Cuttlefish, Week 37.
Gastropoda - Whelks, Week 32 Snail, Week 35

Plus 10 different types of Bird - Turkey, Week 3 Chicken, Week 4 Ostrich, Week 7 Wood Pigeon, Week 16 Duck, Week 18 Goose, Week 22 Pheasant, Week 31 Partridge, Week 34.
Plus 2 Animals from classifications NOT on the list – Deer (Cervine), Week 9 Eel, Week 14.


365 days of meat.

Meat Weeks 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40 & 41. Thursday 27th August - Wednesday 14th October.

Good evening everyone, and welcome back to my odyssey of animals, the carnival of meat. Now, I accept that it has, once again, been an incredibly long time since my last update, but I have decided that we'll be all caught up by Christmas, meaning that, in the next two days, you're going to hear about over three months worth of delicious, and not so delicious, critters.

Before I get into that, however, let me first address my past pledge to give you all a pound per day over a fortnight that I didn't update. Well, if I'd have been three, four or even up to about seven days late, that would have been fine. As it is, this would bankrupt me, so I'll just get you a drink next time you ask me for one? Deal? Good. Then let's move on.

So, when I last let you, I was preparing to fly out to Croatia for my friend's wedding. Laura and I had decided to take this time as our holiday for the year and so, while the rest of the guests would be there for just a week, we would spend over three weeks in the youngest country I've ever visited.

Quite aside from the fact that I'd always wanted to go to Croatia since it once again became an independent nation in 1991 (don't ask me why, I have no idea. ), I was excited by the chance of finding different animals to eat which I may have struggles to get in the UK. In particular, I was looking forward to going, while we were in Zagreb, on a day trip to Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, as I'd read that edible dormouse was a Slovenian national delicacy. It promised to be a horizon altering trip, and I couldn't have looked forward to it more.

Anyway, I started the trip, technically, illegally, by taking my can of snails into the country. Having not had chance to eat them before we left, I just figured that I'd take them with me, giving me an easy meat whilst out there. However, I hadn't reckoned on a couple of things - firstly, none of the accommodation we stayed in for the whole holiday had an oven, which rendered the cooking instructions somewhat moot. Of course, I had no idea, at the time I had them, that this would be the case, as we were in our first private room. It may have been that every place we would have stayed in after that would have an oven, thus making the process much easier, but, unfortunately, I was running out of time in the week, and so had to improvise.

Having managed to get hold of some garlic from the hostel owner (having first learnt the Croatian word for garlic, as it was one of the few English words she didn't understand), I opened the tin, expecting to find snails in their shells. What I actually found were unshelled snails with no shells to put them in (which surprised me as the cooking instructions said to put them in the oven in their shells with garlic butter). So, I put my thinking hat on, and decided that I would fry the snails in the garlic butter, and to hell with the shells. As back-up plans go, it was quite elegant.

And, as it turned out, entirely misguided. I had no concept of how long I should cook the snails, and they came out gritty and horrible. I ate two, which were far too rubbery and not at all like they had been the first time I ever had them last year, when I was able to use an oven and follow instructions. These made me gag, and the rest were quickly discarded of, with absolutely no chance of Laura trying one. So, I would like to thank profusely my friend who got them for me, but feel I must apologise for the way they were treated. Sorry - but it was them in the bin, or me in the bathroom all night.

Unfortunately for me, and probably fortunately for you, this is not the right place for a lengthy love note to Croatia, detailing where we went and what we did. No, here, you just get to find out what I ate, making me sound more like an English tourist than I would ever have liked to be. To complete the persona, I'll just say that, for the most part, the weather was glorious. However, I will urge anyone who can to get out there before it gets overrun with tourists - right now, Croatia is beautiful, and resolutely 'foreign'. We didn't encounter another native English speaker for nearly the first two weeks of our holiday, and even then they were Australian rather than English. However, it can only be a matter of time before all that changes, and this proud nation is full of Brits Abroad, and we'll all have to try and find somewhere else off the beaten path.

Having survived yet another week, we moved onto Zagreb, me with half an eye on Ljubljana. Unfortunately, we just didn't have time, which meant that my hopes of edible dormouse were snuffed out. Even more disappointing was when we found out, on the day we were leaving, and too late for me to do anything about it, that in some of the more upmarket restaurants, I would have been able to eat a bear steak. Gutted doesn't quite describe it. And so, we headed on, still needing exciting animals.

Moving on through the country, we came to Pula, a coastal town in the North-West of the country. Here, we stayed in a holiday resort, our only resort of the holiday, which didn't exactly fill me with glee upon arrival. Having come hoping to find a taste of the real Croatia, I was now in the kind of bland place I'd hoped to avoid. As it was, it turned out not to be too bad, as were only there in the evenings for the most part, and our apartment was lovely - albeit still without an oven. Apparently, Slavs don't bake or roast.

The resort did, however, come up with one very welcome surprise - a restaurant which served shark. Knowing of Croatia's position on the Adriatic, and having been assured that much of the cuisine was based around seafood, this is something which I had saved from my list in order to have here. However, there was one problem. The first night we went there, they had no shark. The waiter seemed fairly confident that there would be some delivered in the next day or two, but I could not be so flippant - failure here would have rendered my entire year worthless.

However, nothing else was coming to mind. Of course, there were plenty of fish, but their sections of the list had already been completed. Thankfully, I found that the small restaurant by the pool served wild boar at lunchtime, giving me an escape route, although one I dearly hoped I wouldn't have to take - shark would be much easier to come by in Croatia than at home in the UK. And so, on Tuesday night, we made our way back to the restaurant, in hope if not in expectation. Thankfully, the waiter was right, and I was able to order my grilled shark steak.

I hadn't quite counted on what I would receive - three circular steaks, approximately six inches in diameter. I assume it was a nurse shark, or something of a similar size, and as the waiter was unable to enlighten me any further, that's what I'm sticking with. Whatever it was, it was delicious - a flaky, fish texture without too strong a flavour, but with a certain something which was hard to put my finger on. It was quite like a tuna steak, particularly in feel, and was more than worth giving up a delicious mozzarella stuffed veal steak for. Just.

Next on our whistle stop tour was Split, and I was hoping for something wonderful. However, I ran into problems. There was just nothing from my list that I could have, and I began to get a little desperate. After lengthy discussions with Laura, and the realisation that, unlike at home, where I could go ask a butcher or fishmonger for anything I wanted, and at the very least be understood, here, I was at the mercy of the restaurants, I decided that, in order to get through, I was going to have to go against my categories, and just have something new.

With this in mind, I emailed Captain Meat, and asked his permission to break away from what I was now coming to think of as 'guidelines' as opposed to rules. It was a tense wait, but the next day, there came a reply - we were all systems go to continue without strict parameters. I was disappointed, obviously, as I had hoped to complete the entire list, but with a choice between failure, and a different type of success, I chose Success 2.0.

And Success 2.0 was both very good, and something I'd wanted to try for a long time - black risotto with cuttlefish. Now, cuttlefish is incredibly like octopus and squid, with the same texture and, pretty much, the same flavour. The most exciting part of the meal was the squid ink risotto which was thoroughly delicious, if a little strange - eating black food is very unusual, and I've never been so filled by a meal before. There wasn't a great deal of cuttlefish in there, but what there was was delicious. I'll be more than happy to have that again.

Cuttlefish was ticked off fairly early in the week, as I knew that I would be moving to Dubrovnik, with no guarantee of a fresh meat, and didn't want to risk losing out. I also knew that, as we were flying home on the Tuesday, even if I couldn't find anything in the next week, I would have a day at home to sort something out. All in all, I was feeling fairly confident. Of course, as soon as I start to think everything might get a little bit easier, nothing does.

Interestingly enough, I actually did have a new meat this week, and also a new style of an old meat. At the wedding, I had red snapper, which I hadn't previously had this year, but which I couldn't count as I was still trying, as much as possible, to stick to my original list, and I also, finally, had whole squid, rather than just calamari. That was delightful.

Anyway, most of the rest of the group had left the day before us, and, as we were left to look around the city one last time, Laura received a text. An exciting text. A text which told us that there was bear meat for sale at the airport.

No, I wasn't sure how we'd get it through customs. I needn't have worried, however, as it wasn't fresh bear steak, as I'd anticipated, but dried meat, rather like a large lump of bear biltong. We bought it (Laura has yet to let me forget just how much it cost. Let's just say that it certainly wasn't cheap) and it went in my shoulder bag. Of course, to be sold there, it had to be fine to take it out of the country, although that didn't stop me having a little flutter as we passed by the customs officials. Upon arriving home, I put him in the fridge, and waited till Wednesday.

Coming home from holiday is always a bit of a culture shock, so having that meat made me feel a little happier, like there was still a lit bit of Croatia with us. As dried meat does, it had a very chewy consistency, but was considerably sweeter than most jerky I'd ever had. Although I can't deny I was very disappointed not to have got a fresh bear steak, this made up for it in some small way, and became easily the most impressive animal I'd eaten this year. I mean, who wouldn't like to think they could take down a bear? And one day I will get myself a fresh one.

We had arrived home just in time for the farmer's market, and so had our monthly saunter to see what we might find. This time, I picked up a hare and some wild boar chops, meaning that two more weeks would be taken care of. The hare was put in the freezer, while the chops were left out for a midweek dinner - one which came around very quickly. Grilled, like a regular pork chop, with some mashed potatoes and vegetables, it was such a warming, traditional meal, and, more importantly, the chops were delicious. There was a good amount of fat on them, which really suffused the meat with flavour, and they were so thick that they were still a little pink in the middle, and were tender and juicy. All in all, the perfect chop. Granted, the flavour wasn't so different from a normal pork chop, although there was certainly a little something extra - although that could have just been the knowledge that I was still ticking along nicely, and enjoying a particularly fine meal.

The following week, I went back to Leeds to see my family. Now, going back home is, of course, always a delight, but it does give me some serious problems when it comes to finding new meat. I've found that I've always struggled a little, and so have had to have something before I go or after I get back. However, this time round, I had had nothing previously, and so had to find something to keep me going. and finally, on the Wednesday, I did, when Marks & Spencer presented me with Lemon Sole.

I honestly don't know if I've ever had sole before. I assume I have, as it is so normal, but I can't be certain. Anyway, I have now. Pan fried in a little butter, the sole was very tasty indeed, and I can imagine having it again. However, it wasn't the sensation that, for example, monkfish had been, so it's not the kind of thing I'll go and actually seek out. Should it fall in my lap, however, then who am I to complain?

Back home, it appeared I would have no problems with my next week. However, as Wednesday rolled around, and I realised I had forgotten to take the hare out of the freezer, I knew that there may well be a wee problemette.

But what to have? Scanning my list, I searched for something I could possibly get hold of. The only thing I could find were birds - if I could get a guinea fowl or quail at the market, then I'd be a happy fellow indeed. Sadly, it was not to be. I checked every butcher's I could think of, and none of them had anything that would help me. In the end, I made a big decision, and decided to once again break away from my list and venture into something else.

I had decided that if I was to break from my list, I'd try as far as possible to get something a little interesting. This time, I managed to buy some fresh king scallops. Now, due to their price tag and somewhat upmarket reputation, I had worried that they may be difficult to prepare, but this was not in any way the case. Simply fried in a little olive oil and butter, a minute or two on each side, the scallops were tremendous. I adore the texture of them - both soft and meaty, and, with a flavour that is not overpowering, it's clear to see why they are held in such regard.

Incidentally, queen scallops aren't nearly as good.

So there you have it. Another long distance catch up that has brought us now into the middle of October, just two and a half months from the completion of my challenge. There's trials and tribulations still to come, some terrifying and delicious animal prospects, and lots more beside. The next update will be don, so long as nothing gets in the way, tomorrow night, so, until then.

And, for those of you trying to keep up, and with some changes due to my new found meaty freedom, here's the updated table, up to and including week 41:

Herbivore Mammals
Bovine - Cow, Week 2 Buffalo, Week 19.
Ovine - Sheep, Week 5 Goat, Week 27.
Marsupia - Kangaroo, Week 21.
Rodentia - Rabbit, Week 13.

Omnivore Mammals
Porcine - Pig, Week 1 Wild Boar, Week 39.
Rodentia (a different one to the herbivore one)

Carnivore Mammals
Ursine - Bear, Week 38.

Arthropods
Insecta
- Winged - Crickets, Week 12.
- Unwinged – Mealworms, Week 10 (Mealworm Beetle Larva) Ants, Week 15.
Arachnid - Scorpion, Week 20.
Crustatia
- Sea - Prawns, Week 17 Crab, Week 23.

Reptilia
Crocodile, Week 26.

Fish
Scaled fish - Salmon, Week 6 Tuna, Week 33.
Flat fish - Monkfish, Week 30 Sole, Week 40.
Shark - Dogfish, Week 28 Shark, Week 36.

Mollusca
Bivalvia – Mussels, Week 11 Cockles, Week 29 Scallop, Week 41.
Cephalopoda - Octopus, Week 8 Squid, Week 24 Cuttlefish, Week 37.
Gastropoda - Whelks, Week 32 Snail, Week 35

Plus 10 different types of Bird - Turkey, Week 3 Chicken, Week 4 Ostrich, Week 7 Wood Pigeon, Week 16 Duck, Week 18 Goose, Week 22 Pheasant, Week 31 Partridge, Week 34.
Plus 2 Animals from classifications NOT on the list – Deer (Cervine), Week 9 Eel, Week 14.


365 days of meat.

Meat Weeks 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40 & 41. Thursday 27th August - Wednesday 14th October.

Good evening everyone, and welcome back to my odyssey of animals, the carnival of meat. Now, I accept that it has, once again, been an incredibly long time since my last update, but I have decided that we'll be all caught up by Christmas, meaning that, in the next two days, you're going to hear about over three months worth of delicious, and not so delicious, critters.

Before I get into that, however, let me first address my past pledge to give you all a pound per day over a fortnight that I didn't update. Well, if I'd have been three, four or even up to about seven days late, that would have been fine. As it is, this would bankrupt me, so I'll just get you a drink next time you ask me for one? Deal? Good. Then let's move on.

So, when I last let you, I was preparing to fly out to Croatia for my friend's wedding. Laura and I had decided to take this time as our holiday for the year and so, while the rest of the guests would be there for just a week, we would spend over three weeks in the youngest country I've ever visited.

Quite aside from the fact that I'd always wanted to go to Croatia since it once again became an independent nation in 1991 (don't ask me why, I have no idea. ), I was excited by the chance of finding different animals to eat which I may have struggles to get in the UK. In particular, I was looking forward to going, while we were in Zagreb, on a day trip to Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, as I'd read that edible dormouse was a Slovenian national delicacy. It promised to be a horizon altering trip, and I couldn't have looked forward to it more.

Anyway, I started the trip, technically, illegally, by taking my can of snails into the country. Having not had chance to eat them before we left, I just figured that I'd take them with me, giving me an easy meat whilst out there. However, I hadn't reckoned on a couple of things - firstly, none of the accommodation we stayed in for the whole holiday had an oven, which rendered the cooking instructions somewhat moot. Of course, I had no idea, at the time I had them, that this would be the case, as we were in our first private room. It may have been that every place we would have stayed in after that would have an oven, thus making the process much easier, but, unfortunately, I was running out of time in the week, and so had to improvise.

Having managed to get hold of some garlic from the hostel owner (having first learnt the Croatian word for garlic, as it was one of the few English words she didn't understand), I opened the tin, expecting to find snails in their shells. What I actually found were unshelled snails with no shells to put them in (which surprised me as the cooking instructions said to put them in the oven in their shells with garlic butter). So, I put my thinking hat on, and decided that I would fry the snails in the garlic butter, and to hell with the shells. As back-up plans go, it was quite elegant.

And, as it turned out, entirely misguided. I had no concept of how long I should cook the snails, and they came out gritty and horrible. I ate two, which were far too rubbery and not at all like they had been the first time I ever had them last year, when I was able to use an oven and follow instructions. These made me gag, and the rest were quickly discarded of, with absolutely no chance of Laura trying one. So, I would like to thank profusely my friend who got them for me, but feel I must apologise for the way they were treated. Sorry - but it was them in the bin, or me in the bathroom all night.

Unfortunately for me, and probably fortunately for you, this is not the right place for a lengthy love note to Croatia, detailing where we went and what we did. No, here, you just get to find out what I ate, making me sound more like an English tourist than I would ever have liked to be. To complete the persona, I'll just say that, for the most part, the weather was glorious. However, I will urge anyone who can to get out there before it gets overrun with tourists - right now, Croatia is beautiful, and resolutely 'foreign'. We didn't encounter another native English speaker for nearly the first two weeks of our holiday, and even then they were Australian rather than English. However, it can only be a matter of time before all that changes, and this proud nation is full of Brits Abroad, and we'll all have to try and find somewhere else off the beaten path.

Having survived yet another week, we moved onto Zagreb, me with half an eye on Ljubljana. Unfortunately, we just didn't have time, which meant that my hopes of edible dormouse were snuffed out. Even more disappointing was when we found out, on the day we were leaving, and too late for me to do anything about it, that in some of the more upmarket restaurants, I would have been able to eat a bear steak. Gutted doesn't quite describe it. And so, we headed on, still needing exciting animals.

Moving on through the country, we came to Pula, a coastal town in the North-West of the country. Here, we stayed in a holiday resort, our only resort of the holiday, which didn't exactly fill me with glee upon arrival. Having come hoping to find a taste of the real Croatia, I was now in the kind of bland place I'd hoped to avoid. As it was, it turned out not to be too bad, as were only there in the evenings for the most part, and our apartment was lovely - albeit still without an oven. Apparently, Slavs don't bake or roast.

The resort did, however, come up with one very welcome surprise - a restaurant which served shark. Knowing of Croatia's position on the Adriatic, and having been assured that much of the cuisine was based around seafood, this is something which I had saved from my list in order to have here. However, there was one problem. The first night we went there, they had no shark. The waiter seemed fairly confident that there would be some delivered in the next day or two, but I could not be so flippant - failure here would have rendered my entire year worthless.

However, nothing else was coming to mind. Of course, there were plenty of fish, but their sections of the list had already been completed. Thankfully, I found that the small restaurant by the pool served wild boar at lunchtime, giving me an escape route, although one I dearly hoped I wouldn't have to take - shark would be much easier to come by in Croatia than at home in the UK. And so, on Tuesday night, we made our way back to the restaurant, in hope if not in expectation. Thankfully, the waiter was right, and I was able to order my grilled shark steak.

I hadn't quite counted on what I would receive - three circular steaks, approximately six inches in diameter. I assume it was a nurse shark, or something of a similar size, and as the waiter was unable to enlighten me any further, that's what I'm sticking with. Whatever it was, it was delicious - a flaky, fish texture without too strong a flavour, but with a certain something which was hard to put my finger on. It was quite like a tuna steak, particularly in feel, and was more than worth giving up a delicious mozzarella stuffed veal steak for. Just.

Next on our whistle stop tour was Split, and I was hoping for something wonderful. However, I ran into problems. There was just nothing from my list that I could have, and I began to get a little desperate. After lengthy discussions with Laura, and the realisation that, unlike at home, where I could go ask a butcher or fishmonger for anything I wanted, and at the very least be understood, here, I was at the mercy of the restaurants, I decided that, in order to get through, I was going to have to go against my categories, and just have something new.

With this in mind, I emailed Captain Meat, and asked his permission to break away from what I was now coming to think of as 'guidelines' as opposed to rules. It was a tense wait, but the next day, there came a reply - we were all systems go to continue without strict parameters. I was disappointed, obviously, as I had hoped to complete the entire list, but with a choice between failure, and a different type of success, I chose Success 2.0.

And Success 2.0 was both very good, and something I'd wanted to try for a long time - black risotto with cuttlefish. Now, cuttlefish is incredibly like octopus and squid, with the same texture and, pretty much, the same flavour. The most exciting part of the meal was the squid ink risotto which was thoroughly delicious, if a little strange - eating black food is very unusual, and I've never been so filled by a meal before. There wasn't a great deal of cuttlefish in there, but what there was was delicious. I'll be more than happy to have that again.

Cuttlefish was ticked off fairly early in the week, as I knew that I would be moving to Dubrovnik, with no guarantee of a fresh meat, and didn't want to risk losing out. I also knew that, as we were flying home on the Tuesday, even if I couldn't find anything in the next week, I would have a day at home to sort something out. All in all, I was feeling fairly confident. Of course, as soon as I start to think everything might get a little bit easier, nothing does.

Interestingly enough, I actually did have a new meat this week, and also a new style of an old meat. At the wedding, I had red snapper, which I hadn't previously had this year, but which I couldn't count as I was still trying, as much as possible, to stick to my original list, and I also, finally, had whole squid, rather than just calamari. That was delightful.

Anyway, most of the rest of the group had left the day before us, and, as we were left to look around the city one last time, Laura received a text. An exciting text. A text which told us that there was bear meat for sale at the airport.

No, I wasn't sure how we'd get it through customs. I needn't have worried, however, as it wasn't fresh bear steak, as I'd anticipated, but dried meat, rather like a large lump of bear biltong. We bought it (Laura has yet to let me forget just how much it cost. Let's just say that it certainly wasn't cheap) and it went in my shoulder bag. Of course, to be sold there, it had to be fine to take it out of the country, although that didn't stop me having a little flutter as we passed by the customs officials. Upon arriving home, I put him in the fridge, and waited till Wednesday.

Coming home from holiday is always a bit of a culture shock, so having that meat made me feel a little happier, like there was still a lit bit of Croatia with us. As dried meat does, it had a very chewy consistency, but was considerably sweeter than most jerky I'd ever had. Although I can't deny I was very disappointed not to have got a fresh bear steak, this made up for it in some small way, and became easily the most impressive animal I'd eaten this year. I mean, who wouldn't like to think they could take down a bear? And one day I will get myself a fresh one.

We had arrived home just in time for the farmer's market, and so had our monthly saunter to see what we might find. This time, I picked up a hare and some wild boar chops, meaning that two more weeks would be taken care of. The hare was put in the freezer, while the chops were left out for a midweek dinner - one which came around very quickly. Grilled, like a regular pork chop, with some mashed potatoes and vegetables, it was such a warming, traditional meal, and, more importantly, the chops were delicious. There was a good amount of fat on them, which really suffused the meat with flavour, and they were so thick that they were still a little pink in the middle, and were tender and juicy. All in all, the perfect chop. Granted, the flavour wasn't so different from a normal pork chop, although there was certainly a little something extra - although that could have just been the knowledge that I was still ticking along nicely, and enjoying a particularly fine meal.

The following week, I went back to Leeds to see my family. Now, going back home is, of course, always a delight, but it does give me some serious problems when it comes to finding new meat. I've found that I've always struggled a little, and so have had to have something before I go or after I get back. However, this time round, I had had nothing previously, and so had to find something to keep me going. and finally, on the Wednesday, I did, when Marks & Spencer presented me with Lemon Sole.

I honestly don't know if I've ever had sole before. I assume I have, as it is so normal, but I can't be certain. Anyway, I have now. Pan fried in a little butter, the sole was very tasty indeed, and I can imagine having it again. However, it wasn't the sensation that, for example, monkfish had been, so it's not the kind of thing I'll go and actually seek out. Should it fall in my lap, however, then who am I to complain?

Back home, it appeared I would have no problems with my next week. However, as Wednesday rolled around, and I realised I had forgotten to take the hare out of the freezer, I knew that there may well be a wee problemette.

But what to have? Scanning my list, I searched for something I could possibly get hold of. The only thing I could find were birds - if I could get a guinea fowl or quail at the market, then I'd be a happy fellow indeed. Sadly, it was not to be. I checked every butcher's I could think of, and none of them had anything that would help me. In the end, I made a big decision, and decided to once again break away from my list and venture into something else.

I had decided that if I was to break from my list, I'd try as far as possible to get something a little interesting. This time, I managed to buy some fresh king scallops. Now, due to their price tag and somewhat upmarket reputation, I had worried that they may be difficult to prepare, but this was not in any way the case. Simply fried in a little olive oil and butter, a minute or two on each side, the scallops were tremendous. I adore the texture of them - both soft and meaty, and, with a flavour that is not overpowering, it's clear to see why they are held in such regard.

Incidentally, queen scallops aren't nearly as good.

So there you have it. Another long distance catch up that has brought us now into the middle of October, just two and a half months from the completion of my challenge. There's trials and tribulations still to come, some terrifying and delicious animal prospects, and lots more beside. The next update will be don, so long as nothing gets in the way, tomorrow night, so, until then.

And, for those of you trying to keep up, and with some changes due to my new found meaty freedom, here's the updated table, up to and including week 41:

Herbivore Mammals
Bovine - Cow, Week 2 Buffalo, Week 19.
Ovine - Sheep, Week 5 Goat, Week 27.
Marsupia - Kangaroo, Week 21.
Rodentia - Rabbit, Week 13.

Omnivore Mammals
Porcine - Pig, Week 1 Wild Boar, Week 39.
Rodentia (a different one to the herbivore one)

Carnivore Mammals
Ursine - Bear, Week 38.

Arthropods
Insecta
- Winged - Crickets, Week 12.
- Unwinged – Mealworms, Week 10 (Mealworm Beetle Larva) Ants, Week 15.
Arachnid - Scorpion, Week 20.
Crustatia
- Sea - Prawns, Week 17 Crab, Week 23.

Reptilia
Crocodile, Week 26.

Fish
Scaled fish - Salmon, Week 6 Tuna, Week 33.
Flat fish - Monkfish, Week 30 Sole, Week 40.
Shark - Dogfish, Week 28 Shark, Week 36.

Mollusca
Bivalvia – Mussels, Week 11 Cockles, Week 29 Scallop, Week 41.
Cephalopoda - Octopus, Week 8 Squid, Week 24 Cuttlefish, Week 37.
Gastropoda - Whelks, Week 32 Snail, Week 35

Plus 10 different types of Bird - Turkey, Week 3 Chicken, Week 4 Ostrich, Week 7 Wood Pigeon, Week 16 Duck, Week 18 Goose, Week 22 Pheasant, Week 31 Partridge, Week 34.
Plus 2 Animals from classifications NOT on the list – Deer (Cervine), Week 9 Eel, Week 14.


Watch the video: Wild boar walking on the beach (June 2022).


Comments:

  1. Mezirr

    I think it has already been discussed.

  2. Yerachmiel

    rarely .. .. We can say this exception: i)

  3. Lueius

    So it happens. We will examine this question.

  4. Kaliq

    Sorry for intervening, I also want to express the opinion.



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