Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 5 : A stomach for Andouillette!

I had been wanting to try this very special and very French sausage since I read about it in various food, travel and recipe books. Made with the various segments of the pig's intestines and stomach and blended with herbs and spices, andouillette has its origins in France's Champagne region.
Purveyors of good quality andouillette are awarded "grades" from A to AAAAA, the supreme proof of a sausage's quality.
Today, I finally had my chance.
We were going "junk" shopping in the Marches aux Puces St-Ouen de Clignancort, the grand dame of all French flea markets but decided to have lunch first.
It's dangerous to shop on an empty stomach, as my Mastercard can attest to.
There was a small brasserie on the corner, near the Metro exit of Porte de Clignancort. The menu listed the usual brasserie items -- omelets, salades, roast chicken or confit of canard with pommes frites, flank steak. Sandwiches.
And then I saw it, right there in the "plats" section ... andouillette sausage with pommes frites.
It was well fried when it arrived, glistening with oil, slightly charred -- a sausage bursting at the ends, hiding all the good things inside.
I sliced it open and the intestine parts, sliced lengthwise in strips, spilled out. It smelled good, faintly intestine-ly but good nonetheless. Even the casing is made with the lining of the pig's bowels -- don't even say it or think it but that's what the sausage is wrapped in.
I took my first bite -- very tasty, very distinctive flavor and I mean that in a totally good way. For the faint hearted, onions and herbs help neutralize the intestine taste but then again, I like all those bits and pieces of the pig that other people won't even look at.
Andouillette with its pig intestines, pig bowel lining is part of the principle of nose to tail eating. Nothing goes to waste when the animal gives up its life, everything is used, everything is made into something good for someone like me to eat!
Ad astra per alia porci!

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