My butcher usually keeps two special cuts aside when he gets a new carcass — the poire and the merlan — and I have the right of first refusal. I hardy ever refuse.
These are very fine cuts, one is oblong and looks like a fish (merlan being a whiting) and the poire looks like a big pear. They come from near the topside, in English butchery terms. For French butchers, they are near the tranche. It is lean and delicate meat and not so well known because there is just about a pound of it on an entire cow.
When I was young there was a best-selling book called ‘Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche” about macho prejudice. Well, I am not a real man then. Quiche, the name, comes from the local dialect in Lorraine that has German influences and sounds a bit like “Kuche” for pie. The Quiche Lorraine is the most famousRead More
We had bought some chicken liver at the poultry stall on the market and I had a package of pie dough left in the refrigerator. With some shallots, raspberry vinegar, eggs and cream, I made a nice quiche-like open pie. Why raspberry vinegar? It is one of those French habits. The vinegar helps to killRead More
When I was at university, there was a popular book with the title “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche”. But I do, and consider myself a real man, nevertheless. I even make tarts, no pun intended. However, a basic quiche uses cream, eggs and bacon and can be rather on the fatty side, especially when youRead More
‘Real men don’t eat quiche’ was the title of a 1982 book on masculine stereotypes, which only shows that not many men are ‘real’ in the red-neck sense of beef eating, beer swigging misogynists. Valentine’s Day (named after two martyrs called Valentine, killed on the same day by the same Roman emperor but in differentRead More
Cupcakes are all the rage in France. Our upstairs neighbours run a shop in cupcakes and there was a Dutch lady in our village who gave cupcake lessons to children and adults. She had to go back to the Netherlands. Suddenly the local weekly newspaper had a front-page article announcing that a finalist of aRead More