08 August 2008

What I've Learned From "No Reservations" with Anthony Bourdain



Ok, I'm going to wrap all this China/trout stuff together.

Awesomest show of the decade, No Reservations, featured either on Food Network or Travel Channel (I can't remember which - maybe both!), had a wonderful episode a few months ago. It featured Anthony in rural China, fishing with fisherman in the boats on whatever river it was in those funky looking mountains that look like something out of a fantasy novel or Lord of the Rings.

Except these fisherman had no fishing poles. None in sight. Instead they used an ancient method used in some societies around the world which used partially domesticated cormorants. Fishing with birds. The birds dove (see what I did there?) off the boat, diving to deep depths for what seemed to be an eternity. Suddenly the cormorant would surface on the water, the fishmonger would grab the fish from out of the cormorant's gullet. It was amazing to watch...

Ok so it shouldn't be any surprise that birds have been domesticated for ages. But placed in cages. Most people don't trust birds outside of a cage, you know for that whole flying away thing. Even used in occupation - the canary in a coal mine, those were caged. And what's preventing the cormorants from swallowing the fish for their own? I was so transfixed on this faraway place and the ancient time-tested traditions.

If I was in China, that's what I'd want to do, not inhale the nasty Beijing smog... I'd rather work in the rice fields than in a factory...

Have a marvelous weekend!

14 comments:

Lois Lane said...

1. I loooooove Anthony Bourdain. "No Reservations" is on Travel, and he has another show ("Cooks Tour," I think its called, on Food Net, which I think is a predecessor to "No Res").

2. The Girls Navy needs a fleet (flock? gaggle? squadron?) of trained cormorants to fetch us booze and snacks.

3. OMG! Can't believe your DVR pooped out and didn't record Who for you! I think my head would have exploded had my DVR misbehaved that night. I wish you lived closer--I've still got it saved.

Redbeard76 said...

Woooo! Doctor Who Party at Lois's! Sierra can play with Jake-El and Dan-El, she doesn't mind boys...

Cormorants - go and do my evil bidding! Mwahahahahaaha!

Relax Max said...

Cormorant. Did you know that the common Shag is a cormorant? At least so say certain Brits of my acquaintance.

You're not going to follow the olympics, then? I like several of the sports. Women's swimming, women's diving, women's gymnastics, women's volleyball. And like that. Wouldn't want to run the marathon there, though.

Thank you for your visits to my own failing blogs. I appreciate it. I have to populate them with fictitious characters just to keep them afloat. But I am losing the battle as you see. I like your blog. :)

Redbeard76 said...

I never said I wasn't going to watch, you haven't seen me express my admiration for women's beach volleyball. Which puzzles me how they're going to get it past the Chinese censors, but I digress. Gymnastics? Not so much, I don't go for undersized flat-chested jailbait.

And yes, the Shag is a Cormorant, I've seen that on one of my many Google Image searches.

I don't know what to believe anymore. Just LIE to me. Go ahead. You know you wanna.

Jayne said...

I went fishing without any rods last week. I went online and ordered a pack of 10 fish fingers from Tesco.

( I want scrabble. Demand it back)

Claire said...

There are lots of Shags here...

:)

Looks like this was a really interesting program.

Ted D said...

Redbeard, I wish I had seen that; it looks crazy how they can get those birds to catch the fish.

soup said...

i think i saw that episode too... if i remember correctly, there are also bands placed around the birds' necks so that they cannot completely swallow the fish.

did you see the one about the melons (in thailand i think) that smell like dead flesh? there are laws about where you can eat them and everything because they smell soooo bad.

Redbeard76 said...

I think I missed that one, soup. Lots of other good episodes, like when he was trapped in Lebanon when Hezbollah was attacking Beirut, or Namibia with the nomadic bushmen and the grossest thing he ever ate. It's a delicacy. (Watch out for those delicacies - you don't really want to eat anything labelled that.)

Redbeard76 said...

Ted, check this out:
Video

Ted D said...

That is wild, Redbeard.

Chica said...

I love that show, Andrew is hilarious, as in a strange way..charming.

Chica said...

Gah! I must proofread comments before posting. I meant "and" not "as"

Chica said...

And that would be Anthony..not Andrew..dammit! Ah I give up..

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