It was ridiculous. I couldn’t elevate the package deal of hen breasts with out a winch.
There have been solely three breasts within the package deal — and if you wish to be technical, it was solely a breast and a half. But the factor weighed about three kilos.
Three kilos is, technically, the scale of a whole fryer hen. Fryers may be as small as 2 1/2 kilos (or as giant as 4 1/2 kilos). We will assume that these explicit breasts got here from a roaster, however nonetheless. The breasts had been enormous, and that was with out pores and skin and bones.
There may be nothing unsuitable with that, so far as it goes. Extra meals means extra individuals may be fed and, with luck, extra leftovers. The issue comes when you’re attempting to prepare dinner to a recipe.
I used to be on this explicit hunt for hen lately after I was going to make Hen Kiev. I used to be utilizing a recipe that dates again to 1975.
It wasn’t that way back within the grand scheme of issues, but it surely was a unique epoch when it comes to hen evolution.
Chickens again then had been, for lack of a greater time period, regular. They had been correctly proportioned, no less than for a hen. I imply, chickens all the time look type of humorous, however no less than they might get up with out threatening to topple over.
When the nice Craig Claiborne mentioned to make use of one hen breast per Hen Kiev, he meant one which weighed maybe 8 ounces, not 16. Cooking his recipe now means having to make changes; I sliced the breasts horizontally in half to give you the correct dimension.
For the sake of science, I attempted to make use of a one-pound breast within the recipe. It was an utter failure. I couldn’t pound the hen skinny sufficient to make use of — Hen Kiev requires a skinny fillet so it may be wrapped round a mound of herbed butter. After I lastly acquired the hen skinny sufficient, it fell aside in shreds. And nonetheless, there was twice as a lot hen as I wanted.
I don’t blame the farmers. Farmers look to fill a necessity. People like hen breasts far more than legs and thighs, so farmers, breeders and geneticists attempt to provide chickens with as a lot breast as doable.
If it had been solely chickens, I’d preserve my grumbling to myself. However a stroll down the aisles of any grocery retailer reveals that meals simply isn’t the identical dimension.
Shallots was nearly a secret ingredient used solely by these within the know. After they weren’t common, they had been kind of the scale of a dried fig.
However now, there are increasingly individuals within the know, leading to elevated demand for shallots. Agricultural science has responded, and now shallots are twice as massive as they was.
Once more, there’s nothing inherently unsuitable with that. They nonetheless style the identical, you simply get extra shallot per shallot.
However should you see a recipe from quite a lot of years in the past calling for one shallot, you’ll be a lot happier should you minimize certainly one of at this time’s monster shallots in half.
Not less than hen breasts and shallots are getting greater. The whole lot else is getting smaller, for apparent financial causes.
Cans of greens and fruit have contained 14 or 14 1/2 fluid ounces for thus lengthy that it feels regular now. However these are odd numbers, or no less than uncommon, so I seemed up photos of outdated cans. Positive sufficient, all of them began out at 16 ounces. In fact they did.
Sweet bars are a very annoying instance. The costs naturally preserve going up, however the 3 Musketeers bar of my youth that weighed 2.06 ounces now weighs 1.92 ounces. The Hershey’s bar that was previously 1.875 ounces (I assume it was initially 2 ounces) now checks in at 1.55 ounces. Equipment Kat bars, which began out at 1 1/4 ounces, now weigh 1 1/2 ounces.
OK, I didn’t see that one coming.