Hi there folks, it has been a while since i made a post on our blog, but i am sad to say that this one is a rant......
i have recently discovered (while trying to source ingredients for our next event) that it is basically impossible to get fresh goose anywhere in New Zealand !!!!!!!
i was told by several very reputable suppliers of meat, poultry and game that 'we just don't have any fresh geese' and when i said that this is the point in the season that they should be being culled and therefore ....there must be some ....... i was told 'we bring them in live, put them INSIDE and fatten them up on GRAINS kill them and freeze them straight away'
this was, to say the least a very sad experience for me, no-one was prepared to allow these geese to be at their best ( by being fresh not frozen, by leaving them outside to fatten naturally against the winter cold, and to have a natural diet rather that what ever grains they could get cheapest no doubt) .
In New Zealand, we suffer from being in the southern hemisphere and as such when we want to eat goose (at Christmas)....it is not in season, goose is a traditional Christmas bird, but in the northern hemisphere when it is winter for Christmas. so i accept that i can't get a fresh goose at Christmas down here at the end of the world, but when we have so much good game and poultry going straight from slaughter to freezer and being fed rubbish i feel like screaming.
One supplier even dared to suggest that this approach was the only one ! If they were not all the way down in Rangiora i would have ran over and strangled them.....and grabbed a goose before it went into the freezer.
the fact is that in new Zealand we are behind the times in the food industry, there are valiant pioneers out there, forward thinking restaurateurs and suppliers, diners who are demanding (finally) basic food cooked perfectly etc, but when i have these experiences i want to scream at the top of my lungs WHAT ARE YOU DOING ! It seems there is still a long way to go until we can truly be a 'foodie country' (as i recently heard someone describe us as).
We have in New Zealand some of the best basic products to be found, we just often don't keep them here or don't respect them enough (like say.....throwing them in a freezer, feeding them shit, putting them in the wrong environment, not using the whole beast, central distribution in a country with the population of a small city and on and on....)
The completely honest reason i am so upset is because i wanted to serve people at our table goose.....because it is a mid-winter Christmas meal, but i can't because i will never put my name to frozen meat, never serve it to one of our guests, and never ever under any circumstances condone by purchasing, poor practices of food production that show no respect to the beast that has died for our eating pleasure.
Charlie Trotter once said ' some divine agent has given us all these lovely things to eat, the least we can do is to cook them with love and to appreciate them'
THERE IS NO LOVE IN A FREEZER.
P.S If anyone knows a farmer with geese ......i would love to know....i would change the menu at the eleventh hour for the right ingredients