June 29, 2004

Sacre Bleu!

OR THIS IS NOT THE BEST FRENCH MEAL I'VE EVER HAD

Martha recently wrote about an interesting food experience in France. That post managed to jar something lose, a previously blocked memory that I figured I'd share.

When I was younger (so much younger than today, for you Beatles fans), shorter and blonder, I went on a family vacation to France with my parents. After a couple of days in Paris, we rented a car and drove around the countryside, also journeying into Germany, Austria and Switzerland and occasionally running through flowered hilltops singing the theme from The Sound of Music. Europe, showtunes - what could be better? Well, except for that one meal in Chablis.

We'd been driving much of the morning and we found a nice little sidewalk cafe seemingly untouched by the hand of tourism. This meant menus in French without the handy little English translations. My mom and I ordered the same thing, which looked to be some sort of ham thing while my father ordered something else, which actually did turn out to be ham. Speaking no French, we should have had super Spidey-vision and picked up on some of the visual cues from our waiter. That questioning look he gave us should have said "whatever you do, you do not want to order that you silly American people!" But no. We just smiled back and nodded like, well, silly American people.

When the waiter returned with our meals, he deposited a nice plate full of ham slices in a white wine sauce in front of my father. In front of my mom and I? Well...allow me to describe it. Picture, if you dare, a large plate. Its garnished nicely and resting on a bed of lettuce is a somewhat long, sausage-like thing. The thing is kind of pink, but with darker purple bits throughout. It looked not unlike...A PENIS!!

In the spirit of adventure, my mom and I both picked up our forks, cut into whatever it was, and tried a bite. You know how there are some things that just look awful but taste really good? This was not one of them. Whoever came up with this dish should have been beaten with ladles and whisked to death. My mom and I exchanged glances and we both had looks of extreme displeasure on our faces. My dad chimed in with something helpful like, "well, that sure doesn't look good." No shit, dad. Thanks.

We summoned the waiter, realizing we'd made a mistake. At this point, we weren't exactly starving anymore but we were curious - what exactly were these things on our plates?

In a mix of badly spoken French (us), slaughtered English (the waiter), intervention from the chef and many odd and terrifying hand gestures, we were finally able to figure out what it was...A PENIS!!

Apparently, in this little part of France, they liked to use all of the pig. ALL of it. When faced with the decision of what to do with the pig penis, they decided, "oh, lets stuff it full of cabbage, put it on a plate and serve it for dinner!" I'm here to tell you this was not the correct decision. Not at all. Needless to say, we didn't continue to feast on our lunch. We had some of my dad's ham, preferring the other end of the pig to the one with which we were originally presented.

That wasn't the only horrible meal in France - there was the time I was served red cabbage and a raw egg in a piece of pastry I thought was rather odd - but it was certainly the worst. I can happily report that the last time we were in France, I was on the lookout for rogue penises. None were found and good food was had by all without exception.

Posted by Chris at June 29, 2004 08:11 AM
Comments

Hee hee. If I ever get to France, I will be sure to be on the lookout for rogue pig penises. Thanks for the heads up! (hee)

Posted by: Fraulein N at June 29, 2004 08:32 AM

Oh nice! When I finally get around to visiting France.. I'll be sure to take my own food! heh

Posted by: Cheeky Girl at June 29, 2004 08:47 AM

Okay, your pig penis definitely trumps my veal kidneys. Without a doubt.

That's what turned you into a vegeterian, isn't it?

Posted by: martha at June 29, 2004 09:19 AM

Haha! Good question by Martha above. When exactly did that vegetarianism kick in, anyway? Maybe this should be a lesson for all those meat-eaters out there...you never know what you're getting. :)

Posted by: Zandria at June 29, 2004 09:44 AM

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I'm going to be on the lookout for all rogue penises everywhere.

Posted by: Holly at June 29, 2004 10:08 AM

WOW! Brings whole new meaning to cock-gobbler, doesn't it?

Posted by: gesikah at June 29, 2004 10:26 AM

*crosses "have JLB lunch at fancy, fancy French restaurant" off her JCon to-do list*

Posted by: Coleend. at June 29, 2004 10:43 AM

whoa that's fear factor without the prize!

Posted by: kimberlee at June 29, 2004 10:53 AM

Do ya think ya may have to go to like, a Penile Cuisine Therapy Group for that? I think you've been traumatized...lol

Posted by: Darren at June 29, 2004 11:22 AM

Oh. OH. OHHHH.

That? Is so very gross. I think I would be traumatized for life if that happened to me. Even now, if I ordered a penis, I'd be scarred.

I'm impressed you ate anything at all for the rest of the trip.

Also, penis! For dinner! Ewwww!

Posted by: Dawnie at June 29, 2004 11:53 AM

That's it, I am never kissing you again.

And also? If I ever wanted to order up a penis, I prefer it not be dead.

Posted by: Mindy at June 29, 2004 11:55 AM

hehehe... Thus, the true meaning of "waste not, want not"! Sometimes I am so thankful that I am a vegetarian...

Posted by: cher at June 29, 2004 11:58 AM

We were watching a show the other day where some asian country eats bull penis and testicles. Also rooster testicles (they were surprisingly large).

You were incredibly brave to publicly admit this. What a story. Where my husband comes from a popular "delicacy" is grasshoppers friend in chili sauce -YECH! Big fat women sit with giant bowls full in their laps -eating and selling from the same big bowl in the public market. YECH!

Posted by: HR Lady at June 29, 2004 01:06 PM

I'm just going to point and laugh here. : )

Posted by: Theresa at June 29, 2004 01:09 PM

Wait, you were blond?

Another JCon story I'll tell is how my grandfather tortures me with tales of farm food. Like draining chicken blood into a frying pan, heating it up and eating it. Thanks Grandpa!

Posted by: Diana at June 29, 2004 01:55 PM

Ummm, you ate penis dude!

Okay this probably wasn't the best first comment ever!

Posted by: Jeff A at June 29, 2004 02:17 PM

OMG!!! I experienced something like that in Luxumbourg. It wasn't a penis. It was a COW's tongue. The whole thing, in one piece. We hide it under the sauerkraut and ate the rest of the meal :)

Oh and Chablis, the wine, YUM. Best ever :)

Posted by: Sweety at June 29, 2004 03:57 PM

Since I'm sure all the penis cliches have already been used (I'm too lazy to actually check), I'll leave you with this:

If you've ever eaten a hotdog, you've probably already eaten a pig penis. Among other things.

Posted by: pie at June 29, 2004 04:08 PM

eeeeeeew!

Posted by: Tara at June 29, 2004 04:41 PM

Diana; they do fry up pig blood and call it Morsala. Blood Pudding. It's gross but my dad loves it!

And think of the girls who eat pig cock on video. *giggles*

Posted by: Cammie at June 29, 2004 05:19 PM

MMMmmm... blood pudding! I love it. I was also raised on Irish breakfast foods, though. So glad the penis was never involved in that.

Posted by: bmh at June 29, 2004 05:51 PM

That sounds like something straight out of Fear Factor.
*gagging*
I think I'm going to go throw up now....

Posted by: myllissa at June 29, 2004 09:03 PM

Sounds like the plot culmination scene in that movie..."The Cook The Thief His Wife And Her Lover" where the lover's penis was served to the cheating wife and she was forced to eat it.

Check out these other nasty dishes at:
http://chinesefood.about.com/cs/foodculture/a/unusualfood.htm

Posted by: Geezitron at June 29, 2004 11:40 PM

If it looks like a penis, and tastes like a penis...BTW I read your iming at Amalah's and I am one of the other three people on the planet who liked Ishtar! Only I didn't know there were two others, Do you know who the 3rd on is? Maybe we could start a club. Well, on to Martha's...

Posted by: Sheryl at June 30, 2004 02:37 AM