Thursday, 3 November 2011

French Food Faux Pas

If you go to a French restaurant and you're looking for something simple to eat, it can be difficult.  Recently, at a dinner with colleagues, I had a hard time choosing from the menu.

  • Boar rib with spices. No.
  • Piglet belly cooked at low temperature. Definitely no.
  • Roasted duck breast. No. I don’t eat Donald or Daisy

You get the idea. I’m not a good one to judge because basically, I don’t like most meats, and I don’t have sophisticated tastes. I guess the restaurants know that there will always be “one of those” so they throw in a vegetarian dish -spinach gnocchi. This I could enjoy although when I ordered it, I detected a sniff of disapproval.  I guess this is considered the "Cheese Whiz" category, only included to appease the boors who don't eat boar.  So, a few suggestions if you're in this situation -

- Don’t order anything if you don’t understand what it is unless you're not hungry.
- Don’t expect service to be fast. It’s a French restaurant.

…..and this is the most important one

- When the Menu du Jour is being read, really really pay attention.

The server said “The special of the day is quail”. (Well for me, that’s disgusting….but as mentioned, I’m not the experimental type).

BUT….what I heard was

“The special of the day is squirrel

I almost passed out.

Once the room stopped spinning and I had regained the color in my face, I calmly mentioned that we have a lot of squirrels around our house and they’re cute.
He's so CUTE

To the other guests of course this was a non sequitur. No one knew why I all of a sudden I had the urge to express my love of squirrels. 

Overall, I'm hoping the next restaurant is Italian.  You can't go wrong with ravioli.


  1. Haaaaaaa, I am imagining all the dead pan faces around the table, all trying hard to humour the crazy lady - too funny!

    I come from a family of vegetarians, and both my sisters still uphold that life-style with their own families. Naturally, ever the rebel, I soon turned carnavorous after escaping home (well, five years on..) French cusine is not for the timid, is it?

  2. Exactly right! There was dead silence and then they went on talking like I hadn't said anything at all. ha ha ha. So you're a meat-eating rebel - good for you! If I came from a family of vegetarians, I'd probably eat raw meat now :)

  3. haha! loved this! and i would have gone with the gnocchi, as well...

  4. I am laughing out loud! Squirrel... I yiyi, that would be nasty.

    I've been the Cannes Film Festival on business a zillion times-- It's not a fun or glamorous as it sounds and in the beginning I had a really hard time with the menus too which means I ate... your get it, A LOT of pasta until I figured things out.

    :-) jj

  5. Pasta and cheese. Pasta and cheese. I don't know what I'd do if I went to China!

  6. I've seen recipes for American cookery books!
    I used never to go to places with only the cryptic mention...plat du jour.
    I wanted to know that I wasn't going to be expected to eat andouillette.

  7. Ha ha ha. That has to be more than an acquired taste. My stomach is flip-flopping just thinking of it!!

  8. Poor old squirrel nutkins.Though my grandfather did use to refer to them as tree rats.
    Wish I could have seen the faces around the table sure I would have been howling.(with laughter)

  9. Tree rats. Ha ha ha! I know you would have roared if you could have seen their faces and mine!