The Batali Inquisition: Sam Sifton





What is the single best dish of wild game you have eaten in the last two years and where did you eat it?




My father died in 2009, but there were duck breasts and pheasants we shot together in the freezer for a very long time after that. Still, I suppose those meals fall outside the two-year time frame. (They were great, though: Gumbo city, at home.)


Last summer a friend of mine turned 40 and he roasted a big pig in the yard to celebrate. Another friend brought maybe five pounds of Bluefin tuna belly, off a fish her husband caught off of Long Island that day. As a species, Bluefin tuna is in perilous shape. Stocks of the fish have been battered by overfishing and environmental depredation. We should not be buying Bluefin tuna, or selling it. The market needs to close, here and especially in Japan, where it is highly prized for sushi. The fish needs time and space to rebound, if it can.


But man alive that was some good fish. We ate it raw, with a little soy to cut the fat, and it was shocking in its wildness and intensity. Recreational fishermen are by nature hypocrites. We should be able to target those tuna, after all: They’re so hard to catch! And our proximity to them and knowledge of their behavior makes us more passionate stewards of regulations that will help insure their survival. (You want some ginger with that piece? Try it!) We contradict ourselves.


So: raw Bluefin with a brushstroke of soy sauce. Shoot me. Good luck getting one yourself.



To read the rest of Sam Sifton’s Inquisition on Medium, click here.


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