The 20 Top Weird, Unusual, a bit disgusting foods you can find in France!
Everyone knows that France represents great quality cuisine. There are many famous chefs creating an amazing food starting for the specialists in bakery, by chefs who prepare main dishes and there is always an impressive dessert to come to which you cannot say no. But this is not all, there is cheese and wine which you can only find in France. So I know that anyone who is planning a holiday in France is looking forward to eating here. But this time i’m not going to be nice😉 I’m going to disgust you truly….why? Because I have just found 20 weirdest, unusual, some people call it …disgusting foods in France. Are you brave enough to discover them? Here you are….
- Cerveaux/Cervelle /Brain/ The most popular in France are the lambs and sheep’s brains. They look quite disgusting in a butcher’s window – a handful of what looks like large veins, gelatinous and grey with red veins that have to be removed before cooking. Usually, they are lightly dusted with salt and pepper and flour and fried before adding sautéed garlic, parsley, and lemon. This famous meal is called Sautéed Cervaux (fried brains).
- Farci Poitevin. And now something for vegetarians and vegans from the French cuisine. This fat-free terrine is a mixture of cabbage, mixed greens, beats, and spices, all wrapped up in a generous layer of gelatin. You can eat it cold on its own or spread on a baguette but also hot in main course. This rustic dish comes from the Poitou-Charentes region in France.
- Ris de veau /Sweetbread/ This is often translated as ‘sweetbread’ but ris de veau is basically the culinary name for the thymus or pancreas (also called stomach, belly or gut sweetbread), typically from calf. One common preparation of sweetbreads involves soaking in salt water, then poaching in milk, after which the outer membrane is removed. Once dried and chilled, they are often breaded and fried. They are also used for stuffing or in pâtés.
- Époisses. Actually as per strange things to eat in France, we need to include cheese. Many people will be angry at me for this as most people love cheese, however you need to agree, some French cheeses are a bit disgusting…and again they put some people off, but also have many fans. Époisses is a legally demarcated cheese made in the village Époisses and its environs, in the département of Côte-d’Or. Époisses is a soft-paste cows-milk cheese (made from raw or pasteurized milk). In order to create the cheese, they wash it in brine and Marc de Bourgogne (the local pomace brandy) so maybe that is why it has a very sharp smell. It is sold in a circular wooden box, and in restaurants, is sometimes served with a spoon due to its extremely soft texture…yummy and smelly…
- Brie Noir. It is a type of Brie cheese whose color has evolved from light yellow through beige to brown. In the past, the excess brie turned into the Brie Noir cheese and got many fans that is why its production has been continued. However, attention, Brie Noir takes up to one year to mature and develop its distinct, dark color, its crumbly texture, and its earthy flavor. Even experienced cheesemongers can find the taste of Black Brie disconcerting.
- Pigeon. This meat is very popular in France. The tradition of eating these birds goes back centuries. For the best dish made with pigeon, the French usually stuff a bit of foie gras in a bird or quail and eat it with some wild mushrooms.
- Tripe /Veal belly/. Tripe is a type of edible lining from the stomachs of various farm animals. Most tripe is from cattle and sheep. It is one of the French popular meals which they really like. Actually, this is very good for your health, because of the high content of the protein collagen. People are usually afraid of what it is but when you cook it for a long time on a low heat with a bouquets-garnier and white wine, it’s delicious.
- Andouillette. This is a coarse-grained sausage made with pork, intestines or chitterlings, pepper, wine, onions, and seasonings. It has quite a disturbing smell. I had a chance to eat so it’s edible but it won’t be my favourite meal. What I noticed is that all French men love it, while it’s not that popular among women…at all. By the way, it’s the speciality of Lyon.
- Gésiers. Called also giblets, come from different parts of chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese. In duck, chicken and other poultry and birds, the gizzard is a muscularized part of the stomach. This has to be properly cleaned and prepared before cooking. On top of that, gésiers can include heart, liver, and kidneys plus the external giblets, the head, neck, wingtips, and feet. Gésiers are cooked in various ways and often appear in salads.
- Tête de veau /Head of veal/ This is a dish consisting of a calf’s head which may be served whole or boned. When boned, it is rolled and held together with string. Tête de veau is very good for people with arthritis.
- Oursins. The sea urchin is a marine animal that lives in groups. It is not a shell but a echinoderm, just like the starfish. They are round-shaped invertebrates with spiked bodies, which is why they are sometimes referred to, by analogy, by the popular expression of Sea Hedgehogs and more rarely by the old-fashioned expression of Sea Chestnuts. It is a little expensive, especially since we throw most of it and eat only little part. But its ultra-iodine flavor is incomparable. Coral, orange-red is the female and yellow-brown represents the male. Canned, they are more affordable.
- Rognons. This type of kidneys is a common meal on the French menus. If they are cooked right – nicely seared with a creamy mushroom sauce – they are really yummy.
- Langue de boeuf /Beef langue/ The first time I saw it, it was during my shopping at Carrefour in France. I could not move, I was so shocked and speechless. But I can imagine once prepared the shape disappeared and there is some taste that the French appreciate…still on my list of things to try in France…this time I’m not in the hurry.
- Tetines. They are another part of the cow’s body that are not anymore so popular among French, only the older generation still buy and prepare them. Traditionally, the sliced tetines are floured and pan-fried to make them crispy and golden. Add only a little butter is used for the taste, because they are pretty fatty so the existing fat is enough tol melt.
- Steak tartare. This meat dish made from a raw ground beef or horsemeat, is usually prepared with onions, capers, pepper and Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings. It is often served with a raw egg yolk, and often on rye bread.
- Pieds de porc. A pig’s trotters, also known is the culinary term used to refer to the feet of a pig. They are popular worldwide but they are especially adored in France. They are cooked slowly and the final dish is tender.
- Couilles de mouton. These are the sheep balls which are a tripe specialty of Limousin and Périgord. Their main ingredient is the sheep testicle. If similar specialties, based on the same ingredients, exist in several regions of Europe, as well as in North Africa, the culinary preparation called “balls of sheep” is a gastronomic specialty specific to Limousin.
- Fromage de tete. Head cheese which is actually not a cheese at all but it is a cold cut that originated in Europe. It is a terrine or meat jelly often made with flesh from the head of a calf or pig, or less commonly a sheep or cow, and often set in aspic. A version pickled with vinegar is known as souse.
- Pastille de musculines. Musculine is an energetic specialty and a confectionery made exclusively by the Notre-Dame-des-Dombes Abbey and created in 1867 by Professor Fuster of the Faculty of Montpellier and by Dr. Guichon. It consists of beef, fruit jam, honey.
- Lamprey. This is an ancient extant lineage of jawless fish loved by the French…to eat! Lamprey à la bordelaise is a traditional dish of Aquitaine cuisine (in France). However, it has also spread to the Atlantic coastal areas further south, Spain and Portugal.
Are you still here? How are you feeling? I hope you are not put off eating in France. Remember, these are just some exceptions to the excellent French cuisine. Well, being honest…some people like them so these strangest french foods are not as disgusting as they can sound. So, I hope the list I created, got you prepared to eat in France. You actually have a choice…you can try or not. Lastly…did you hear about any other strang food to eat in France?….please share with me…I’m very curious…