I spent last week in the gastronomic capital of the world, Lyons, where amongst the many delicacies that I ate was one that some 50 years earlier I said I would never ever eat again.
Over the years I have put many things in my mouth, some cooked, some raw, mostly dead though the odd thing that was still alive, also a couple of things that are best forgotten though someone once said, “You should try everything once except incest and Morris dancing.”
Back in November 1973 I spent my honeymoon, with my wife of course, in Paris where one day we found ourselves in the Samaritaine department store, I remember buying some striped socks. However, our visit coincided with lunchtime, and we found ourselves in the restaurant on the rooftop terrace with fabulous views across the City of Lights.
The dish of the day was Andouillette avec Frites, sausage and chips thought I and at only 6fr 50cent well within the budget of a poor boy from Warwick.
Served with a creamy grain mustard sauce it soon appeared in front of us, Pam had ordered the same, two really plump though greyish looking sausages and what looked like perfect frites.
I sliced the first one open with one of those great serrated knives you get in France, and almost passed out, I cannot describe the smell, it was worse than one of those bloated animals rotting away in a ditch when you are out on country walks.
I swear blind the pungent smell and gases were so bad the pigeons nesting in the trees above us keeled over and fell off their branches, I cannot describe the taste I just was not brave enough.
Roll the clock on to last weekend and I was down in Lyon, wandering around the Halles Paul Bocuse there were vast displays pf classic Rosette saucissons and their larger cousins the Jesus Saucisson de Lyons and the dreaded andouillette though vacuumed packed as a form of protective shield for us nimby tourists
Next day on an organised food tour around the old city we were taken into a cellar below one the famous Bouchons, plates of cheese, saucisson and pates waited for us all to be washed down with Beaujolais that had been flavoured with an unusual sirop of sugared pralines.
Our host invited us to guess the secret ingredient in his Pate du Maison, no need to taste I could smell it…my old mate Monsieur Andouillette, I was taken straight back to Paris of 50 years earlier and discreetly passed.
Next post will be a more detailed piece on the magnificent city that is Lyon.