Jen (ylla) wrote in hms_surprise,
Jen
ylla
hms_surprise

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On quails

'Sure a quail is a very acceptable dish,' said Stephen to his first assistant, 'but, Mr Lewis, I cannot recommend the eating of her in her northward migration. Apart from the moral issue at this particular juncture, apart from the impiety that Mr Martin so rightly abhors, you are to observe that the quail, eating noxious seeds on the African main, may well be noxious herself. Remember Dioscorides' words; remember the miserable fate of the Hebrews...'

I've had the link to this article kicking about for ages, without ever remembering to post it - I think! If I posted it years ago, apologies.

Anyway, I was interested to find that although Stephen is perfectly capable of making up a story to protect the poor quails, in this case he appears to be telling the exact truth - at least from his western Mediterranean experience.

Quail using the eastern migratory flyway are toxic only during the southern, fall migration, while quail using the western flyway are toxic only during the northern, spring migration.
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Well, that's an eye-opener! How wonderful that you thought to check the facts; I was certain that the good doctor made it up to protect the quails.