Assorted Livestock 16: Deer Tail (鹿尾)

Master Yin Wen Duan ranks deer tail number one among all foods. However, deer tail is not readily available to Southerners and those brought in from Beijing are bitter and stale. I once got an especially large specimen and steamed it wrapped in vegetable leaves. It tasted great. The best part of the tail is on its top, with its a thick layer of fat just under the skin.

雜牲單::鹿尾
尹文端公品味,以鹿尾為第一。然南方人不能常得。從北京來者,又苦不鮮新。余嘗得極大者,用菜葉包而蒸之,味果不同。其最佳處,在尾上一道漿耳。

Deer tails of all types for your dining pleasure. (Credit: Mariomassone)

I knew sheep’s tail, with it thick, dense textured fat, is considered a delicacy. But never knew deer tail was edible. In fact I though it was mainly bone. Well evidently I was wrong and it is in this day still sold as something of a luxury good.

Yin Wen Duan’s and Yuan Mei’s word is remarkably mute on what aspect of deer tail makes it so good. But I guess I’ll take their word for it.

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