|Photo Courtesy of treknature.com |
Sparrow photo taken 82.4 kilometers south of Marash, Turkey
"People were so hungry, they ate sparrows," my father, a survivor of the Armenian genocide, told me one day. "I used to watch folks set traps with twigs and string. Poor little sparrows. Can you imagine what effort it must take to capture, defeather, cook, and finally eat the tiny amount of meat that would be on a sparrow? I felt sorry for the sparrow and the people who had to eat them." He stopped. He never admitted to eating a sparrow, though I imagine he may have, as he was hiding in the city of his birth, Marash (Մարաշ, Maraš) between 1915 and 1922, a little boy with his family, desperately trying to survive.
Yesterday, reading the blogpost on Armenian Kitchen, (click the link to read the post), I was reminded of my father's story (see above), and struck by the fact that sparrows which became food for some Armenians out of necessity, during deportation and genocide, should be served in an elegant Lebanese restaurant today, and touted on a TV cooking show with no reference to the circumstances under which the dish originated... Ironic that today's delicacy was borne of yesterday's misery.