Monday, 1 December 2008

'twas the first day of christmas...

...and my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree...'

Well, maybe not at the moment.

According to a recent report by BirdLife International, and quoted by The Independent, the poor little grey partridge has declined a staggering 79% over the last 25 years. Not anything to do with loves giving them in pear trees unfortunately, but more to do with massive scale agriculture, pesticides and monoculture. This has to change, and with the wonderful increase in organic farming, habitats are growing again, and with a bit of help, so will the partridge numbers.

So, if you want to give a partridge in a pear tree (both of which are wonderfully in season at the moment), I suggest you find a good and responsible game butcher local to yourselves and purchase a couple of these beautiful birds for the table - visit to find your local supplier, then quiz them about their suppliers. A good butcher knows the history of his/her stock and will be proud to tell you. And if you possibly can, try and make it an organic bird.

The pear? Well, bash up a quick pear chutney with this recipe and serve with the partridge. Then buy a pear tree anyway as they are a great British fruit and highly under-rated.

Maybe not as romantic as the original song, but still a great British meal. Lovely local food.

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