Throughout human history there have been countless variation on stuffing, from placing a simple pimento into an olive, to the quite recent turducken, wherein a chicken is stuffed into a duck, which itself is stuffed into a turkey, much to the horror of onlookers and passersby.
The golden age of stuffing undoubtedly came in the 19th century, when culinary experimentation was at its decadent peak, and people of a certain class would often spend several days on a single protracted meal, pausing only to trade witty banter (“I say, Frederic, I’ve heard tell that you mother is said to have engaged in particular activities and behaviors which would suggest in no uncertain terms that she is, as a matter of fact and principle, a smelly whore.”) and conduct torrid affairs (wholly consisted of knowing glances, exchanges of handkerchiefs, and periodical swooning).
One particularly famous stuffed specimen, the Rôti Sans Pareil, or “Roast without Equal,” was served at a royal feast in France and consisted of no less than 17 different species of birds. These were, in order from greatest to smallest – bustard (not to be confused with bastard), turkey, goose, pheasant (not to be confused with peasant), chicken, duck, guinea fowl, teal, woodcock, partridge, plover, lapwing (not to be confused with lapdog), quail, thrush, lark, Ortolan bunting, and garden warbler. The warbler was small enough to be stuffed with a single olive, though the olive itself was not stuffed with a pimento, an omission which caused the beheading of no less than three sous chefs.
Posted by S.K. Azoulay