Stinky ethnic food that stings the eyes
Today's blog post is about trying new things.
Read Time: 7 minutes and a David Bowie video!
One of my biggest pet peeves is when I serve people and they ask, "what is it?"
I respond: "Poison, bon appetit!"
It usually shuts them up.
First off, I'm a good cook and I adore spoiling my family and friends with good food, therefore I have only used this response a few times.
Second, I think the reason I hate that question (so much!) is because I find it so tactless and rude. But I also know that is merely my childhood conditioning, I'll explain that shortly.
As we become older, our tastes change, we get use to eating a certain way, so when it comes to trying new foods, I can understand people's trepidation, but that is no reason to refuse something that is offered! By the way, this is called, BEING GRUMPY! You don't want to be a grumpy old man or grumpy old lady, do ya?!
As an American, I grew up with a mish-mash of different cultural cuisines within a 5 mile radius. My mother, who learned how to cook from my Grandma on my father's side, made sure we tried different cuisines, ingredients and spices to ensure we NEVER uttered the above words.
She made sure we tried everything, even tortured us, ok strong words, but we weren't allowed to leave the table until we had "three big Girl Scout bites" which usually meant eating everything.
Everyone can probably recount the same situation when their mother made them eat something gross, I'm sure of it, (There are starving children in Africa, you might remember her saying!) still, I am often aghast at people who define themselves by what they distaste, rather than what they enjoy.
So, thanks Mom, sincerely for making me eat "three big Girl Scout bites" because now I am able to try anything (within reason, of course) to ensure that I do or don't like it.
Living in France, well, you are use to seeing strange things on the menu, such as horse steak, steak tartar, veal head, blood sausages, funky types of seafood, liver, pates that look like dog food, intestines, and organs that are served up with garlic and parsley. Also served up with gusto are the array of stinky cheeses that can make one gag!
Marty Fields Galloway - the Honkytonk Queen of France, "I love all of the things you just mentioned except for the horse meat ... I cannot bring myself to eat it. :) Not keen on Anguille (resembles an eel) - which is too snakey for me. And I could do without that Rose Pamplemousse - which c'mon, it is a French wine cooler." (Lady does has a point!) "Almost forgot, if you have not had the pleasure of smelling Maroilles cheese - I cannot explain it. I love cheese in all forms normally but would prefer to pass on the Maroilles."
Nicola M - "There's a dish in Les Landes that is some kind of soup with these clear globules in it. I'm not really sure how to describe it. The taste is...I guess okay....but it looks like the most revolting thing on earth and when i had it, it was a formal occasion so I had to eat it. I was retching on every spoon. Seriously....it like eating fish eggs combined with eye balls. That was my worst."
Eating involves all five senses, so when something looks like vomit on a plate, well, it can be difficult to digest. But, I digress. Because I have been conditioned to eat "three big Girl Scout bites" of something, I am also an adult, so when it comes to trying food that looks strange, well, I suck it up and I'll have a bite, because who knows, one can be pleasantly surprised! And pleasantly surprised, I am indeed!
Doing something as simple as trying new foods means you are on the path to new discoveries.
I feel we have lost touch with the feeling of being pleasantly surprised, but when it happens, it snaps you into the realization that everything is possible, and most importantly, please remember, that EVERYTHING IS!
Our world is a playground of possibilities!
Just as David Bowie sang, "We could be heros! Just for one day." RIP David - I love you.
That said, I ask you, Do you remember a time when you were truly pleasantly surprised? What did you feel? Did your body react?
For me, my body twitches or snaps, for less than a second, and I have this small awe-inspired self-awareness that lasts for even less. Still, even though the feeling is fleeting, I am able to recall it with the intensity of when it first happened.
Some of the grossest foods I have eaten involve liver, which has it's own distinct taste, and I like some, foie gras for instance, more than others, such as cod, veal, chicken and beef liver. The chicken livers were prepared meatball style served in a marinara sauce, which I loved! I have eaten chicken hearts, I can't get past the chewy texture which reminds me of octopus.
I have also tried tête de veau - veal head, rather veal brains - it is a delicacy. I found it too gelatinous for my tastes.
The restaurant, Cafe Dupont, fantastically prepared it with a Dijon mustard sauce over finely sliced potatoes. It was very tasty, however, I only ate half the dish since it tastes like veal jello brains, which essentially what it is.
I have tried steak tartar - raw beef served with a raw egg yolk and spices. Hands down, DELICIOUS!
I like to order it in summer, because I find it refreshing since it is served cold, obviously! I like to order Champagne or a Lillet blanc (served with an orange slice, thank you) as an apértif.
I have eaten boudin - blood sausage - that smells like it looks and looks like it tastes.
My husband LOVES eating this and when he prepares it, the whole apartment stinks beyond description! And it is the scent that lingers too!
He could prepare it on a Monday, I can still smell it on a Wednesday. Makes me gag!
I have also eaten different types of sea snails, which I love, such as bulot, bigornos, I love clams and oysters and langostines, and other types of slimy sea goodness that I dip in homemade mayonnaise (raw egg yolks beaten to a fluff and seasoned with a spoon of Dijon mustard, fresh garlic and parsley!)
Personal side note: While dating, my boyfriend/now husband, made mayonnaise for us, it was love at first bite!
I have eaten horse steak, which I didn't know I was eating until I was a few chomps in, then when I was told, I stopped eating it because I felt guilty (I love horses!)
Julie W - "Horse meat? Really?! Ugh!!!"
I have eaten rabbit - which I love them too, but ever since I saw Monty Python's Holy Grail, I have no problem eating them! Besides - rabbit stew is good.
When my mother came to France, my mother in law prepared rabbit for us - it was the first time I told my Mom to give me, "Three big Girl Scout bites!" Revenge is a dish best served cold, and in my case, a hot stew simmered in veggies and spices!
Mwahahhahahahahha! Adulthood has some benefits!
I'm not a fan of organ meat, such as kidneys, which I've tried, again not a fan.
Knowing I can't stomach foods like tripe, tongue, cow nipples, Andouillette, otherwise known as pig intestines, I still will try a bite of it if and when offered, because who knows, I may be pleasantly surprised! And that leads to new discoveries!
Eat well and Never say never!
Frenchified for Life, yo!
Bonjour et Bienvenue!
Thank you for stopping by for a spell!
I am a 40-something year old American woman. Born in Texas, raised in Las Vegas!
Frenchified for Life
is a fabulous little lifestyle blog about truly embracing French life!
My intent is to simply inspire you to create something unique and beautiful in your everyday life. The French have this wonderful and annoying habit of seeing the world through rose colored glasses, might as well learn something from them!
That said, I lift my glass to you!
By the way, I mention the name Cachou (or The Cash) a lot, I'm referring to her...