Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Telling a culinary story - my andouillette dinner

I was tidying up my cubicle one day and ran across this receipt from my recent business trip to France.

The observant person can tell a few things from this receipt.

First, it's obvious that I didn't entirely adapt to French culture during my stay. After all, I received my dinner bill before 7:15 pm. That's early in France.

Second, you can tell that any vestiges of my Methodism (and the old Methodist lifestyle of abstinence) have, washed away.

Third, you can see that I have some interesting food choices. There's a story behind that.

I should state that my command of the French language is EXTREMELY limited. (This was one of the reasons that I decided not to tour the sights of Paris on my own on Sunday, the same day as the massive pro-Charlie Hebdo rally.) Luckily for me, most of the people that I encountered had a much greater command of English than my command of French.

This was certainly true for my visit to Café Francais on Tuesday evening, where a helpful waiter took care of me. It also helped that the menu had English translations of most of the menu items. After perusing the menu, I decided I'd try the andouillette; after all, sausage with mustard sounded pretty good.

I gave my order to the waiter, and he paused for a moment.

"You know what that is, don't you?"

I didn't.

"It's intestines," he explained.

I went ahead and ordered it anyway, figuring that if it was really really bad, I had the Carlsberg to wash it down.

As it turned out, I didn't make a habit of dining on andouillette on my remaining nights in France, but I won't turn up my nose at it either.

Much later, I learned more about this dish from a blog post at the wonderfully named Things That Stink, and via Wikipedia. It turns out that this dish is primarily available in France; even the English don't care for it.

And I'll admit that I'm not rushing to join L'Association Amicale des Amateurs d'Andouillette Authentique any time soon.

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