Friday, 27 May 2011

Brain: the final frontier

Perhaps it's because I know I'm leaving France, perhaps it's a time to do things I wouldn't normally have done...but probably because it was actually Puce that wanted to order it in our local lunchtime restaurant, I have now done the unthinkable (if you'll excuse the pun) and eaten...brain.

I have previously mentioned that this is where the culinary line is drawn: I have never been able to even contemplate brain.  And everytime I think about eating it, I refer to thinking about it (ie, using my brain, ugh).

Monsieur R read out what was on the menu; I went for carpaccio (which is also something I wouldn't have eaten in my previous life in Scotland - wafer thin slices of beef drizzled with olive oil and slivers of parmesan), he went for lamb and Puce declared she would have the cervelle.  I was about to shout out "But that's BRAIN!", but I bit my tongue.  And I broke my OPOL rule of not using French in English with her and I continued to refer to it as cervelle for the rest of the meal.  Why?  I didn't want to break the spell, somehow calling it brain would have rendered it inedible, or so I thought.

The waitress asked how we wanted the brain, still pink on the inside?  I could feel my stomach seizing up, but Monsieur R said yes, this was the best way and that Madame would be trying it too as she'd never had it.  Queue typical French reaction at this point: Never had cervelle?  Really?  How can that be?

So the cervelle came.  Puce, as any child would with something that is accompanied by chips, picked at the brains, tasted a teency morsel and then went on with the chips.  My turn.

I braced myself...and then had to admit that the taste was actually...well, very nice.  The meat (can you call it that?) was very tender, the taste very delicate....And that when I tasted Monsieur R's lamb, I found that that taste was too much in comparison, but I do usually like lamb.

So there you go.  I can now say that I have eaten brain.  I wonder if I could get some kind of stamp in my passport to show it?

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