What are the sorts of food that you won’t eat? As I write I realise that there are many people who cannot eat certain types of food because of religious, ethical or health reasons. But what about the food that you just don’t like …
I’m looking to enroll in one or two cooking classes in France. At the moment, of course it is summer and everyone is on holidays, but there are a couple of likely looking cooking schools in St Etienne, and they both offer a wide range of classes. One of the classes caught my eye. It is ‘La cuisine Lyonnaise’ where we would learn to make the following dishes
|Grenouilles à la Lyonnaise
|Gâteau de foie de volaille sauce crustacé
|Chicken liver cake with a sauce of crustaceans
|Tablier de sapeur
|Quenelle de volaille sauce échalotes
|Chicken dumpling with shallot sauce (harmless!)
|Sot-l'y-laisse à la crème
|Can be either translated as "stupid person leaves it there in the cream" or ‘leafed chicken oysters in crème’. There isn’t a word that I know of but it is a special piece of meat that is on the back of poultry.
|Cervelle de canuts
|Brains of canuts where ‘canut’ is a name for the silk weavers from Lyon
I’m not aiming to be alarmist about Lyon, which is famously the gastronomic capital of France. In fact two of my favourite restaurants in France to date are in Lyon. Les Enfants Terribles, and Le Canut et Les Gones. Both of them have things like pigs trotters, calf’s head and tripe on the menu. I havn’t been brave enough to try them yet but would willingly try the ‘Pike dumpling with crayfish sauce’, or the ‘Iberian Pork with the jus of Chorizo’, if I could stop myself from ordering the ‘Cassolette of Royans ravioli with foie gras creme’.
‘Extreme guts’ is something that I struggle with and I think a lot of people do. An exhaustive survey of five people showed that none would eat tripe, liver or brains. It made me think in general about food that I won’t eat. Here’s some examples:
|Anything internal – kidney; liver; brains; diaphragm (on the menu in Japan); tripe.
|Dogs; cats; rats; monkeys
|I include these because they were all on the menu in some countries that I’ve visited (not really monkeys because it is illegal). My excuse is that they are carnivores and therefore more disease prone. But as my sister the poo-specialist points out so are pigs.
|Any type of blood sausage
|No explanation required. You’d think. But I’ve recently made some new friends from Jamaica and they insist that the black pudding in Jamaica is the best – and these people seem sensible.
|Could be controversial but I just don’t think that the effort that goes into eating ribs justifies it and you get really dirty fingernails
|Things that have made me sick in the past
|I got sick on a dodgy empanada that I bought off the edge of the road in Chile and there is no going back.
|Small birds – e.g quails
|Same as for ribs. Too much effort for too little reward. Although I could be persuaded on this one.
Also, there is a special category of foods that exist and you have to learn to love them when you are a child. It is like playing sports or learning a language – much harder to acquire once you are past the age of about seven. (Following the Jesuit line there – ‘give me a child when they are seven and I will show you the man [or woman]’). Being Australian I learnt to eat, and crave Vegemite at a young age. I normally carry it with me if I’m going somewhere for more than a month. But I’m prepared to admit that it is not on the top of everyone’s list.
In Japan they have ‘natto’. It is fermented soy beans, but in reality for me it is like eating slugs. No offense Japan!
In Chile & Argentina there is ‘Manjar’. Dulce de leche. Yuck!
The following food items, however, while unusual are NOT on this list of things that I won’t eat:
|Not too bad if someone else does the dirty work of killing them.
|Again- not too bad. You just have to get past the look and the thought of them.
|Lots of raw things
|I learnt to love raw meat in South America – carpaccio in particular. Also I don’t mind steak tartare. Then of course in Japan – sashimi which I adore.
|Crocodile; ostrich; kangaroo
|if I was to categorise them I’d say ‘exotic’. Of those mentioned here my favourite is ostrich – I had really really good ostrich in an Italian restaurant in Vancouver.
But back to the topic at hand. I can’t wait for the cooking classes to resume. First up will be “La cuisine de nos Grands-Méres“. On the menu is Aspic de saumon fumé à l’aneth et œuf mimosa; Pot au feu mijoté de Mamie; Blanquette de veau à l’ancienne; Sauté de veau Marengo; Coq au vin; Lapin chasseur.
Mouth watering yet? What about food that you won’t eat? Do you eat ‘guts’?
Thanks to Phoebe at Lou Messugo for the blog linkup – click here to link back. #allaboutfrance.