The first time I saw a pig head behind the French marketplace counter, I couldn’t help thinking how much more difficult it was going to be to eat meat that was staring back at me (I said difficult- not impossible. I am an incorrigible carnivore.)
In addition to pigs, you can also find whole skinned rabbits (who look unnaturally like cats without their fur *shivers*) Chickens with their heads and feet still in-tact but minus the feathers. Cow tongues (and yes, they do still look like cow tongues even non-attached to the cow), or other interesting animal organs like hearts, livers, intestines and even eyeballs and testicles (I kid you not).
The meat might be behind the window, but it’s uncovered. Chickens are hanging from pegs by their necks along with the dried sausages. Fish are thrown on top of ice and left out on the open counter (no window) for the duration of the market with more ice added to keep ‘em cold. Fruit and vegetables aren’t in plastic but are simply piled into bins. Often times the vender will have a few cut open so you can taste the produce yourself before you buy. They’re sold by season so you can’t find winter vegetables in spring or summer, etc…but most are grown and transported within France so they’re fresh and -let’s face it- delicious.
The meat counter might be shocking to some. But you also have to realize that the meat and chickens are mostly free range raised- no chemicals, hormones, or pesticides. They’re killed fresh and then sold fresh and often times EATEN fresh, and even raw.
I often kid that my mother-in-law likes her beef still mooing. And the cheese! Her cheese is so bacteria filled it could grow legs and walk across her plate.
However, I’m one of those people that will try anything once. Since living in France, I have tasted raw meat. (In a ‘tartar’ or a ‘Carpaccio’ it’s actually quite good) And I have to say my preferences have gone from ‘well done’ to what Americans would consider ‘bloody’.
I’ve also had rabbit (which was hard for me since I actually owned rabbits as pets growing up. Ugh) Foie gras, (duck liver), Cuisses de grenouilles (frog legs- that DO NOT taste like chicken and there’s not enough meat to constitute the trouble of eating them imo), Escargots (snails) Sanglier (wild boar) and andouilette (pig intestine)
I recommend all of the above with the exception of the andouillette.
I’m sorry but if it looks like poop and smells like poop, for me, there’s no way around it.
There’s no fooling my senses, no matter how much Dijon mustard the French throw on top.
Have a great weekend everybody! And ‘thank you!’ to all my new followers and those that commented on this week’s posts! Sorry I haven’t been around much - kids and hubby are on vacation so I’m on a short leash until Tuesday!