Sunday, January 27, 2008

I ate Bambi's father

After many year's of studying French culture, I thought I had a good perception of the kind of cuisine that French people eat. After coming to live with a host family and eating most meals with them, however, I've come to realize I can expect almost anything to pop up on my plate.

My first day here my host mother asked me politely if there were any foods I didn't eat. Thinking I wouldn't have to be too specific, I replied with my normal response: No fish, I don't eat fish, pas du poisson s.v.p.! My host family has generously respected this even though they themselves eat a lot of fish.

After a formal lunch with the family and some of their visiting relatives last weekend, I realized I was in for a rough ride in the food department. Francois' (the dad) brother and his wife were in town for the weekend because they had tickets to a play. They are from Provence and I quickly learned that the brother is a hunter. Pas trop grave so far.

When I sat down I saw a brick of pate sitting on the table. I had had pate before. The brother's son aka the cousin Nico, asked me if I wanted some. I asked what it was and when he explained to me in French I wasn't familiar with the term. Everyone tried explaining the meat to me for awhile before Nico said, exasperated, in English "Did you see the movie Bambi?" and I said "yes."

"We are eating Bambi's father." he said with a stone face, expecting a horrified reaction from me.

and a horrified reaction he received. We were eating venison. And Francois' brother had killed it himself. I didn't want to be rude so I took the plunge and ate a small portion of the mashed up deer meat. But it didn't stop there. The next course in the meal was another meat I've avoided all my life: lamb.

And it didn't stop there, and probably will not stop. I've grit my teeth and beared through a wide variety of foods I'd intended to always avoid: snails, venison, lamb, kidney and some other foods I'd never come across but enjoyed: a selection of cheeses and lychees.

They told me before I leave I have to try pig testicles and frog legs.

I'll let you know if I survive.


Courtee said...

Ewww on the piggy balls. Don't do it. It's almost like you're eating cooked piggy semen. Sick.

Frog legs probably aren't so bad.

I had venison once, it was weird but probably poorly prepared. I'd try it again.

I've avoided Lamb like the plague. My mom always says it smells horribly. Did it smell?

You should try some fish! Tilapia (sp?) is pretty good. I haven't had a ton in the fish dept, but I am exploring little by little. I can't eat salmon, because I got super sick from it (probably just bad fish, I felt better after I vomited like 10 times in a row), so it scares me, and I wont eat a fish if it still looks like a fish. No eyeballs or scales, please. Sick.

:) Miss ya!

Anonymous said...


Hasib said...

This post is making my mouth water. How delicious was the lamb, seriously? Remember, the cuter they are the tastier they are. And venison is quite delicious as well. I'd eat venison every time instead of beef. It's so much leaner and better for you.

I also have to say I'm proud of you, because I could never eat kidney and snails. . . I don't even see the point of snails. Seriously what is there to eat? What did it taste like?

In response to Courtee's (Is this a nickname, or did she misspell it?) Lamb doesn't smell bad, it smells delicious, almost as delicious as it tastes. And I also think frog legs wouldn't be too bad, but stay away from pig testicles, again completely unnecessary, in fact, just stay away from pigs in general. Worst. Meat. Evar.