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The Mediterranean diet

(article, Culinate staff)

So the current issue of Saveur magazine is a theme issue devoted to the fabulous foods of Greece, including articles about Crete, Macedonia, Epirus, the Peleponnese, and the Cyclades. As Susanna Hoffman notes in her introduction to the magazine's Greek section,

bq. Greeks who practice traditional ways of cooking and eating are the living embodiment of the term locavore — even today, most Greeks eat predominantly what's grown nearby, a circumstance necessitated in part by the remoteness of many of the country's regions and islands. 

None of the issue's authentic regional recipes, however, are for a traditional Mediterranean dish: songbirds. OK, so the dish is illegal throughout the European Union. But as the novelist and bird-lover Jonathan Franzen explains in the current issue of the New Yorker, millions of songbirds are still killed — and eaten — every year in such places as Cyprus, Malta, and Italy:

bq. While Europeans may think of themselves as models of environmental enlightenment — they certainly lecture the United States and China on carbon emissions as if they were — the populations of many resident and migratory birds in Europe have been collapsing alarmingly in the past ten years . . . Spring in the Old World is liable to fall silent far sooner than in the New.