Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Doves for Food

The dovecote in Dunster, in Somerset, England, was probably built in the latter part of the 16th century. It sits close to the Priory Green, and also close to the walls of the Priory Church of St. George. It’s approximately 19 feet high and 19 feet in diameter. The walls are 4 feet thick. There are 540 nest holes inside the dovecote.

During the 18th century, the floor level and door were raised to avoid the lower tiers of nest holes against infestation of brown rats. There's a revolving ladder inside the dovecote that was used to harvest the doves for the table. The raising of doves (or pigeons) provided an important and constant source of food. Evidently, the most desirable part of the dove (or pigeon) was called “squab meat” --
the breast of the bird. It is said to taste similar to the darker meat of a chicken.