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little birds, or shaped like them

Hunting or trapping little songbirds in Italy is an age-old tradition that is slowly dying out, with Lombardy, Sicily and Sardinia as the last bastions. In Lombardy some restaurants serve them on polenta (see osei).

But if it's on the menu, uccelli or uccelletti will probably mean veal, beef or pork prepared in ways that resemble birds, such as Rome or Lombardy's uccelli scappati, or 'escaped birds', which are actually pieces of pork and veal with sage leaves in between, skewered to make them look like birds.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: cucinarecarne