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Considering the European never-ending taste for eating little songbirds, like France's ortolans, the painting would not have proven a bit controversial.
Later, after tracking down Petras Kolnas, one of the Lithuanians who cannibalised Mischa, Hannibal releases the ortolans that are being served as delicacies in Kolnas's Cafe de L'Este from their aviary.
Ortolans (a breed of brownish seed-eating songbird) have returned, and the biodiversity of this site has been a key attraction ever since.
Souffle of quails with smoked or pickled (scarlet tongue) Boned breast and wing of chicken with a sauce of foie gras Saddles of mutton in gravy Ducklings cooked in a bordelaise sauce Ham served with marsh-grown broad beans Ortolans (garden buntings) served on crustless bread
She relates the notorious "last supper" that the dying French Prime Minister Francois Milterand served to more than 30 guests--dozens of ortolans, small migratory birds said to represent the soul of France, whose consumption not only is against the law, but considered a sin First, the birds are fattened, then drowned in Armagnac brandy.