Last Call: Pigeon could be making a culinary comeback

Photo: fotokon (iStock)
Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

Some chefs consider this squab a culinary delicacy


Popular Science notes that squab (a.k.a. baby pigeon) was once among the most common sources of protein in the United States, but has fallen out of favor in the last century. Part of that has to do with a certain stigma against eating creatures that serve as service animals, as troops utilized carrier pigeons in World War I. Now, this particular breed of poultry may be flying back to your dinner plate, fueled by a resurgence of interest in serving pigeon. Yes, pigeon, the bird as PS descriptively notes, “whose excrement encrusts our cities.”

Important distinction: Chefs aren’t talking about eating city pigeons, which snack on our most disgusting trash. But non-urban pigeons “are no more likely to carry avian disease than any other bird,” says PS. Now some chefs and restaurants, such as the Hungry Pigeon in Philadelphia, are now favoring the all-dark-meat bird, which you can find pan-roasted in France, or fried in Chinese cuisine. For more about the pigeon’s strange yet fascinating culinary journey, check out Popular Science today. [Gwen Ihnat]

Burger King used to serve “Dinner Baskets”

For some reason today, I found myself reading an old article about Wendy’s baked potatoes, which are a fast-food anomaly. Buried in there was a reference to Burger King Dinner Baskets, which made me do a double-take. I don’t remember Dinner Baskets, though apparently BK debuted them in the early 1990s as a classier option for families. Shrimp Dinner Basket with salad, anyone? [Kate Bernot]


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About the author

Gwen Ihnat

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

Kate Bernot

Kate Bernot is managing editor at The Takeout and a certified beer judge.