John Gibson: How does some puffin grab you?

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Roughin’ it is one thing where nosh is concerned. Puffin it is something else. You’re laughing. Maybe even throwing up, depending on how delicate you innards are.

But puffin in ye olden days was considered a delicacy, according to a yellowing book now available that records the tastes of the 1730s aristocracy of the day.

King George II had a sneaking for puffin (puffin and chips?) at Kensington Palace. He would also order blackbird, lark and the like and, for pudding, custard tarts.

The pot-bellied king (gutsy George to his serfs) would have his personal cook rustle up something special for him. It’s the puffin bit that’s got me wondering if the Bass Rock, forever the home of the puffin, served as the killing fields in King George’s day? And, famine threatening the world’s food supply, will puffin fly back in diets several decades hence?

All of which has me casting my mind back to my schooldays when I was considered by some as Leith’s budding poet laureate with pristine prose for the school magazine:

Doon the line the train came puffin’ . . . Hibs ten, Rangers nuffin’. Such racy and rustic rhymes were rejected out of hand by my English teacher, who would have never found puffin particularly mouth-watering.

Afterwords . . .

. . . Kate Moss, who has been presenting a rather scrawny picture lately, has an autobiography in mind but her public will have to wait: “Not until I’m, like, 105 because you can’t get a good book unless you’re going to spill the beans and I can’t spill the beans – not for a long time.”