Thursday, 23 November 2006

French Food

Jane Anne has been talking about French shopping and chickens. geese and turkeys being sold in French markets "intact". This photo is typical of large markets at the moment - an enormous marquee full of trestle tables with beautiful white table cloths and piles of duck carcasses, magrets, duck and goose fat et fois gras, naturally! Just to make your stomachs turn even more before you tuck into your Thanksgiving Turkeys (have a great time all), we are in the middle of the Foire au Gras season when the supermarkets and markets are stocked to capacity with duck, goose and pork. Magrets (duck breast) are my all time favourite - huge slabs of meat and when the flat is melted down and they are flash fried, they are gorgeous! Then there are the carcasses which still have meat on them, can be boiled down for stock and cost about 2 Euros. Then there is the duck itself. Sold with its head still on (and sometimes the feet are still attached). Cut the head off, and boil the neck up for stock with the bones. And then there are the aigulettes (don't ask), the geziers (warm Perigordian Salade with geziers, foie gras, chopped walnuts and lettuce - yum!), the hearts, etc, etc. As for the fois gras - need I say more. Duck fat? Brilliant for roasting potatoes in with garlic and rosemary, although don't use too much as the potatoes will go soggy. However, when it comes to the pork that's when I draw the line! I will not buy a whole piglet (for some reason these are popular at Christmas time) and nor will I buy "la tete". However I do fill the freezer up with chops, loin of pork, potrine of pork and pork for cooking on the rotisserie. At roughly 4 Euros a kilo it is a bargain. The French "recycle" as much of the animal/duck as they can. Pates, rillettes (gorgeous), confit (mouth watering), boudin noir (black pudding) the list is endless. Sorry I can't add any more photos, but I will try to take some at Brantome market on Friday if we go down (and if it is sunny). To get back to the normal topic, I finished Family Quilt last night. I am just about to bind it. Went to fabric shop this morning and got batting and backing for the Leukaemia quilt so must stop chatting to you and get some sewing done.


YankeeQuilter said...

It is hard for us Americans who are used to getting our meat on a foam tray with plastic wrap to get used to see it au-natural! You are very adventurous!

Laurie said...

Ah, black pudding! Such fond memories! I was three months pregnant when an English friend decided to describe to me how it is made. ("Oh, it's made of sheep's blood! And it's really quite lovely!" And then she described the process.)

Heathrow Airport then became one of many European loos where I lost my lunch.