September 27, 2013

What Did Your Ancestors Eat?

Ok readers. I'm stepping up my game. Gone are the posts that are thought (if not yawn) provoking subjects on  ultra running and philosophy. In are posts that roll off my thumbs devoid of my better filtration. 

For the next several days I'll be posting daily from my phone about something that happened to me in Paris, France, while running or doing something random. Yes I'm in Paris. The City  of lights. I'd post a picture but my laptop is dead and the three prong cord doesn't fit the two hole euro AC adaptor. Damn. 

On another note, have you ever eaten a cows colon? I did today. It wasn't planned or anything I do a lot. It just kind of happened. I ordered grilled sausage from the menu  at a dainty kind of cafe in the Montmarte district, known for an eclectic vibe. It wasn't long before the waiter was shuffling down the cute little sidewalk with our plates of food. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly our food was prepared and delivered to our table. 

The scene was a little hectic though, only because a large group of  customers were taking their seats next to us while a street musician was strutting up and down the row of tables asking for money. I'm normally not one to judge but just at that moment I smelled what I can only describe as a bag of stale urine, you know, like the smell of a public restroom. The stench was so pungent it was like I was the  very last guy in the porta-potty before the all-city 5k and momentarily forget to breathe through my  mouth. 

It was when the waiter set the food on the table that I was looking most intensely for the culprit. Was it the musician? He did, after all, have the look of an old, wondering gypsy. Yes, it was him! But there was one problem with this theory. He was long gone and the stench was still enveloping me. 

I finally resolved to accept the smelly situation was out of my control and reached for my knife and fork. As I cut I noticed this wasn't like any sausage I'd eaten before. It looked strangely un-sausage-like. The inside was not grounded-up bits and pieces of whatever.  This was something still whole, just wrapped and rolled to make it look like a sausage. 

By the time the small morsel was in my mouth, a survival alarm went off in my nostrils. As I chewed it occurred to me that the stench that was all around me had nothing to do with traveling gypsies or unbathed Europeans, and everything to do with the tube that was laying on my plate, and was now quickly dissolving in my mouth and about to make its way down my throat. As I chewed the mustard I dipped this thing in slowly gave way to a flavor that I simply cannot find words for. 

In retrospect, why my gag reflex didn't kick in has me baffled but I'm thinking, at some point down my hereditary chain, my ancestors must have dined on cow shit, or possibly used it for a sauce to strengthen their collective immunity system. Is it just me? Or does the idea of eating an organ who's sole purpose is to create, store and pass feces from the body seem, well, just not healthy? 

I needed to test my hereditary theory so I decided to ask my wife, much more the connoisseur of fine if not obscure foods, to give the local delicacy a whirl. I surmised that if she couldn't swallow this thing without gagging then my ancestral shit eating theory might have some legs. And sure enough, her gag reflex took over immediately upon impact from the latrine laden organ soaked in mustard. 

Happy anniversary honey. 

...The French call it andouillette and, according to wikipedia "it is rarely seen outside France and has a strong, distinctive odor related to its intestinal origins and components. Although sometimes repellant to the uninitiated, this aspect of andouillette is prized by its devotees."


Julie said...

I was alternatively laughing and repulsed as I was reading this. Did you manage to eat more than that one bite? Have fun in France and happy anniversary!

wcooperjr said...

Julie...I so much wanted to take a second bite, but all I could muster was the one. I made it count as I kept it down there, so it's processing...somewhere.

Olga said...

My God, I haven't giggled that much in a while...well, since I read Pam Smith's RRR report half an hour ago, but boy! Really? :)

Will Cooper said...

Olga, I haven't read Pam's report, but if its an ultra I'm sure it is a doozy. I'll check it out.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable...I may never be able to eat sausage again!
Hopefully that's the extent of the local cuisine.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Will, I think I just threw up in my mouth!

Will Cooper said... need to get some culture. Jen and I are out here fighting the battles and where are you? Luau Larry's? Time to get real!

Michael, I'm sur your gastric incident has more to do with your recent trip to Ohio. I told you to go easy on those cherry bombs!