When I was a vegetarian, I turned my nose up at meat. All kinds of meat. Chicken, porc sausages, bridies, christmas turkey, burgers...even some fish I wouldn't touch with a 40 inch barge pole / fork (the fish that still had their faces and eyeballs and scales). It started out as a way to lose weight, if I remember correctly, and continued for eight years before I finally put another morsel of meat into my mouth.
I gave up my vegetarian title because of France. Because I knew I'd be coming to live in France eventually and that I couldn't continue eating Coquilles Saint Jaques (or scallops) every time I ate at FP's parent's house. At the time, Coquilles Saint Jaques was just about the only French dish I would eat, you see, and by the end of a seven day stay with his family, I would be seeing the small round scallops in my nightmares.
And so there it was. One day I decided to eat a hamburger and oh.my.God was it delicious! Little by little I rediscovered meat, with the help of FP and his family, and although I still really can't stomach red meat, I happen to love chicken and turkey. And sausages. I even occasionally take pepperoni on my pizza - when I'm feeling adventurous - but I couldn't tell you what kind of meat that is, or if it is even a meat at all.
Because living in France as a vegetarian in 2006 was so difficult - restaurants don't seem to cater for veggies whatsoever - I am rather pleased with myself for having given up taking the moral highground when it comes to meat / animals. Life is so much easier now, and I am less of a freak in France than before. The French don't seem to understand the concept of vegetarianism. Whenever I mentioned that I didn't eat meat, I would always be met with a wide eyed stare, which lasted approximately 30 seconds, before they scratched their head in confusion and asked me 'mais pourquoi?!'
Last weekend I went all out. I was feeling adventurous, daring even. FP's mother served us canard (or duck) and I, for the very first time in my life, nibbled on a piece of the foreign meat. I finished my entire platefull and would have asked for second helpings had it not been for the three other courses to follow. Yes, my friends, I ate daffy the duck, and he was delish.
There is one last piece of meat that I had heard all about - everyone has tasted it and everyone raves about it. It would have been a meat that I would have sworn on my life that I would never try, along with horsemeat, cat, dog, brains and a whole lot more, but yet not long ago, I was pretty sure I would never dare eat a duck. And today the opportunity arose. The opportunity to eat foie gras.
It was our office's christmas lunch at a posh hotel school (the best place to eat for not a lot of money, top tip!) and the menu was foie gras, canard and chocolate fondant. When my entrée of foie gras arrived in front of me, I poked the brown, strange shaped thing with my fork before sniffing it surreptisiously and spearing a small wobbly piece into my mouth.
Foie gras is the most revolting, vile thing I have ever tasted in my life, except for vomit. It's just a shame that these are the only two flavours I have been tasting all evening as I run to the bathroom to see every ingredient in my lunch for a second time.
There is such a thing as being too adventurous after all.