Yummy Snipe

Wilson's Snipe

One more, and then I need to quit shooting fishiness in a barrel.

That same otherwise exemplary work notes that the specific epithet of the Wilson’s Snipe is delicata, which it translates as

paramour or favorite; unclear why the name was applied to this species.

This one’s easy. Alexander Wilson himself, the eponym of our common North American snipe, tells us that these birds

when in good order are accounted excellent eating.

Audubon records, approvingly,

that richness of flavour and juicy tenderness, for which it is so deservedly renowned.

We could go backward and forward, in the ornithological tradition and in the hunting literature, piling up testimonies to the tastiness of the snipe. But perhaps the easiest thing to do is simply to turn to the dictionaries.

The late Latin “delicatus” mean “exquisite.” It means “fine.” It means “delicious.”