- Wild Game
Browse: Home / essays
Deer fat, venison tallow, whatever you call it, this is the stuff of controversy. A great many sources, including some trusted ones, say it’s inedible. Others, including me, have long said it can be damn tasty. Here’s some science behind both claims.
I finally got myself a deer this season! A nice little buck. After nine hunts, I was due. And finally, the Fates took pity on me.
There’s a saying in fly fishing that catching a fish is the goal, but not the point of that particular obsession. Deer hunting in the West is the same thing. It’s been a tough season so far, but it ain’t over yet.
I am fascinated by Nordic cooking, in no small part because it’s a cuisine of scarcity – and scarcity fuels innovation. Here in NorCal, we live in the soft, warm center of the world’s cornucopia. As I try to form my own personal style of cooking, I find myself looking for scarcity among abundance.
I’ve fished for tuna, off and on, my whole life. But the more you fish, the more you understand how different the fishing can be from place to place, even for the same species. This latest trip off the Mexican Coast was, well, a learning experience.
Trolling for fish – salmon or otherwise – is unlike almost every other type of angling. Trolling causes a cascading avalanche of emotions all ultimately flowing into caught fish, the promise of dinner, and a zenlike state… if you’re lucky.
For most of the world, porcini mushrooms are a feature of fall. But here in the West, we also get spring and even summer porcini. In fact, the biggest flush I deal with are right now, as spring fades into summer. To do justice to these mushrooms, we cannot look to Europe. We must develop our own porcini cuisine.
Morel hunting the way I do it is a lonely affair. Miles walked in a beaten, burned landscape. A morel here, a morel there. It’s not the bonanza of a big burn, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything.