I’ve just finished reading Bjorn-
My grandmother was a master chef and my grandfather both a successful poultry farmer and an avid hunter. In 1922, on the occasion of their 10th wedding anniversary, my mother attempted to recreate the famous Rôti Sans Pareil (“roast without equal”) of an early 19th century French royal feast. It consisted of seventeen nested birds: a bustard, a turkey, a goose, a pheasant, a chicken, a duck, a guinea fowl, a teal, a woodcock, a partridge, a plover, a lapwing, a quail, a thrush, a lark, an Ortolan Bunting, and a Garden Warbler, the last stuffed with a single olive. By all accounts, her recreation was a success, and my grandfather declared it the greatest meal of his life.
Unsurprisingly, the extravagance of the Rôti Sans Pareil put a strain on my grandparents’ food budget, and Cajuns are not ones to waste food (when we slaughter a pig, we don’t lose anything but the squeal). They ate leftovers for quite some time. My grandfather claimed until his dying day that he loved every bit of those leftovers, but my grandmother was appalled at how long the embedded carcasses ended up sitting around. After 9 or 11 days (family accounts differ), she sliced up the leftovers vertically, and layered them horizontally into a casserole. My grandfather sung its praises nearly as much as the original Rôti.
Because of my grandfather’s evident delight with the Rôti and the derivative casserole, my grandmother made a traditional Cajun turducken for him every week
Family lore states that the first turducken included the leftover casserole from the Rôti, though my grandmother could not remember if that was true or not when I began asking her about it in my teens. But she was sure, and my mother and sister are sure, that the cycle has been unbroken since the first turducken, which dates to about two weeks after their anniversary, in March of 1922.
Now that I have joined the prestigious Center for Computational Cajun and Creole Culinarity in Maurice, Louisiana (home of the commercial turducken so popular at Thanksgiving in the US), I have access to advanced computational simulations and a range of multi-
This is the error that most scientists make when they consider infinitely-
the truth in the general case, of course. Our analysis shows that these original olive particles are embedded in a stunning fractal pattern throughout the sausage stuffing of the contemporary turduckens. Even given another 1,000 years of turduckens and casseroles, these special olive molecules will still be present in statistically significant numbers!
Original Olive Distribution in a Contemporary Turducken: olive components are represented in light purple, which is also the theoretical color of the actual pieces at this time.
Sorry to run on at length, but “meta-
Clark E. Clarke, Ph.D.
Center for Computational Cajun and
Dear Dr. Clark(e),
Fascinating. However, we will have to take a pass on your invitation to dinner. [shudder]