Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Origins of ox-tail soup

It may not be generally known that the familiar ox-tail soup had its origin during the Reign of Terror in Paris in 1793, when many of the nobility were reduced to starvation and absolute beggary.
The abatoirs sent their hides fresh to the tanners without removing the tails, and in cleaning them the tails were thrown away.
One day one of the noble beggars, while happening to pass a tannery, noticed a pile of discarded tails, and asking for one it was willingly given to him. He took it to his lodging and made what is now famous - the first dish of ox-tail soup. He immediately told his friends of the good luck he had had, with the natural result that the tanners were soon annoyed to such an extent by the demand for ox-tails that a price was put on them.

Eastern Province Herald - November 30, 1908

What a tale about the spirit of enterprise. Ha ha, pun intended.

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