©2021 by Vernon Miles Kerr, VernonMilesKerr.com originally posted in rough draft to Twitter on Oct. 10, 2021
Le Boeuf La Vache I think we Anglo Saxons and Gauls have an affinity for beef and dairy built in to our DNA. In the Middle Ages, the “hayward” was the farm’s XO in every large fiefdom. Hay was all important because it supported bovine husbandry.
Now, today, what could be more sublime than the subtle hint of butter in shortbread, or the exquisite savor of lobster dipped in drawn butter? Then there are the cheeses — the cheeses! Too much variety to even approach in a short essay.
Then, of course — there is beef.
In my own gourmandic memory, NOTHING is superior to remembered-cuts of beef enjoyed in special venues, like Delmonico’s or a lesser-known, but even superior experience, Tournedos of Beef at Niewport 17 in Tustin, California: two prime filets of tenderloin, wearing just a veil of sauce béarnaise. One could, literally, “cut ‘em with your fork.”
Sadly, though, one can’t fully enjoy this culinary heritage without some tinge of regret for how the contributing animal is treated in our industrialized food production chain. One could say,”Well, cows have a short life anyway, and once dead, they no longer need their physical bodies.” One could say that. I say that. But, it rings hollow when I think of California’s humongous internment camps known as stockyards, or her gigantic dairies with sometimes thousands of currently non-lactating black & white Holstein Friesians standing up to their shins in mud and excrement. Not that this hypocrite is going to give up his beef nor dairy, but I certainly can get behind the movement to ensure absolutely humane treatment for these animals who have been such a vital part of our tribe’s even being here at this time. Without Bos — the cow — we Anglos and Gauls would be something else.