What is the most delicious animal?
For as long as I can remember, the answer to this question was a no-brainer. Ever since my mom started making the best spaghetti carbonara ever when I was about five years old, the pig – He Who is Made of Bacon – was number one with a bullet. Over the thirty-plus years since, the world has seen extraordinary changes, but one thing has remained constant: the swine in pole position.
Right now. This morning. Because I had a paradigm-shifting thought that puts the cow over the pig, probably to stay.
How can this be? you ask. It feels a little like the time around 1985 that my local rock radio station, in its Fourth of July countdown of the top 500 songs in rock history, shocked listeners by naming “Born to Run” as the #1 song of all-time in lieu of perennial #1 “Stairway to Heaven”: completely unsettling, you say.
Why? What could possibly justify such a seismic shift at the top? What could unseat the pig, He Who is Made of Bacon? (Check out this replica of Van Gogh’s Starry Night made entirely out of bacon).
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I submit to you:
When considering the question of the tastiest animal I, like many before me, had only been thinking about meat. However, upon further review, this isn’t fair. The cow’s dairy contribution to world gastronomy may even exceed that which its meat provides. And beef is no slouch either. So when you take into account the entirety of the animal’s gastronomic contribution, it’s no contest.
This puts the lamb/sheep into the discussion as well, but I’d take beef/cow dairy over lamb/sheep dairy. Think about the breadth of scope of deliciousness that wouldn’t exist (or would be fundamentally altered) without the humble cow: Cappuccinos. Puff pastry. Any pastry. Rice pudding. Cereal. Bread and freaking butter.
Looks like there’s a new sheriff in town.
Vegetarians: I’m working on two articles at the moment. One is about mushrooms and another is on tofu, tempeh, and seitan. Your time is nigh.