A couple months ago I started giving different types of wood chips to James Henry at Bones for smoking various cuts of meat and seafood. I mill a lot of different varieties of wood and have amassed a decent collection of European species, mostly from the Taviot mill in the north of Burgundy. James said the sycamore maple chips were going well with shellfish and the french walnut was working better with things like pork and duck. He had smoked and cured some duck breasts in early May that are now ready. One of said breasts made it home with me and we cut into it today.
The aroma is sweet and smoky, and I think I can smell the distinct, earthy, coffee scent that comes off milling walnut wood. The fat at room temperature is soft and easy to slice thin and transparent. The meat is dark and about the same texture and greasiness of Bellota ham. The taste is subtle and sweet, rich and not over-smoked, in familiar James-style restraint. It almost feels like slicing a miniature spanish ham. With some early season cherries and a glass of Gamay, it's pretty much the perfect snack. Which reinforces what I often think, that if I were to leave France, I'd miss several things, but mostly the snacks.
|The cellar at Bones restaurant|
Suckling pig for sandwiches at the bar, a table at the restaurant proper
James in the Bones kitchen, stools & shelves I made for the bar
43 Rue Godefroy Cavaignac
Open from Tuesday - Saturday for dinner
post by Adrian Rubi-Dentzel
photos by Danielle Rubi-Dentzel