A Faux Pas in France
While anticipating my travel to France, I was looking forward to a number of things – speaking French with native French speakers, the South of France in the summer (hello lavender fields and charming stone houses), cheap and delicious French wine, and perhaps most importantly, French food.
For one thing, pains au chocolat. No one makes a chocolate croissant quite as well as the French. Baguettes, pastries, crêpes, moules frites, the list goes on. The French make some good eats.
Included in my stay at my two star B&B in the Lunel was dinner each night. I usually ordered the plat du jour or plate of the day. One Sunday, after a wonderfully long day at the beach in Sète, I returned to my hotel. I sat down for dinner and ordered the plat du jour as usual, too lazy from my day in the sun to even look at the menu board to see what I was ordering.
Kathy, the owner of the B&B, brought out my beloved entrée of crudités (fresh vegetables served with a make-you-pucker Dijon vinaigrette) and then Claude, her husband, brought out the plat du jour. Content from sun-bathing and my refreshing crudités, I eagerly looked down at my plate to see what was on the menu for tonight’s main dish.
Something was covered in mustard sauce. Chicken? No. Based on the anatomy, this could not be chicken. Duck? No, not duck. This was no bird. And it definitely was not fish either. Could this be…rabbit? I started listening to other people in the restaurant discussing the menu. The word lapin came up a number of times. Confirmed. Tonight’s dish was rabbit.
I grew up with rabbits as pets.
Slightly traumatized, I ate my rabbit. I figured the least I could do for the poor thing was eat it. It was already dead, cooked, sauced and waiting to be eaten.
Unfortunately, it was, comment dit-on?, how do you say it?, delicieux.
Originally published on the Discover France blog in October 2010.