Definition of beccafico in US English:



  • A European songbird, especially a warbler, eaten as a delicacy.

    • ‘In the 15th and 16th centuries, Venetian literature mentions the beccaficos, literally translated as the fig-pecker.’
    • ‘The beccafico, however, is not as a rule artificially fattened, and on this account was preferred by some sensitive tastes to the ortolan.’
    • ‘The birds must be taken alive; once captured they are either blinded or kept in a lightless box for a month to gorge on millet, grapes, and figs, a technique apparently taken from the decadent cooks of Imperial Rome who called the birds beccafico, or ‘fig-pecker’.’
    • ‘The dish is named for the beccafico, a bird that eats ripe figs and is therefore considered a gourmand.’