From this translation of a French treatise on the Gascon way to preserve geese, ducks, other poultry and their fat, we learn how to house, fatten and butcher these birds, how to render their fat, how to prepare confit, how to store it and how to use it. To anyone familiar with the way confit is made today, few of the instructions will seem surprising; setting aside the technology to which it refers, this text provides a perfectly valid guide to confit-making in the twenty-first century. What is surprising, though, is that (in the view of the curator of the museum that owns the manuscript) this is a nineteenth-century copy of an eighteenth-century text, reflecting an if-it-ain't-broke attitude that may be instructive in these fix-it-anyway times.

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