He always brings me back something interesting from the local cuisine, previously I've been handed such delights as smoked reindeer heart and sheep brain "jam", but this time he's been to France and came back with a sausage.
ANDOUILLETTE! Not Andouille.
Wiki: "Andouillette sausage is very different from the American andouille sausage, which is largely a mild to spicy garlic-flavored sausage. It is closer to French andouille, but is never smoked. Tripe, which is the stomach lining of a cow, is sometimes an ingredient in the filler of an andouillette, but it is not the casing or the key to its manufacture.
True andouillette will be an oblong tube. If made with the small intestine, it is a plump sausage generally about 25 mm in diameter but often it is much larger, possibly 7-10 cm in diameter, and stronger in scent when the colon is used.
There are a number of French versions of andouille produced that generally provide a spicy, smoky, rich, earthy flavor, which may also have a slightly sweet taste.
Andouille sausages are commonly found in many countries. By contrast, true andouillette is rarely seen outside France. All have a strong, distinctive odor related to their intestinal origins and components. Although sometimes repellant to the uninitiated, this aspect of andouillette is prized by its devotees."
So, sausages of pig intestine, perhaps stomach, perhaps colon. Yummy!
What should I serve it with? My gut instinct (get it) is onion boosted sauerkraut with lots of black pepper. Alas, Google is poisoned with "Andouille Sausage" for inspiration, Andouillette being almost impossible to find.
I decided to keep it simple, just cooked, with onion, sauerkraut and mustard, and frites.
After eating, I won't say never again ... but I will say, not for a long time will not be too long a time.
First impressions ...
The smell. Yes, like a pissoir, a public toilet. That Pungent bowel scent which is not altogether off-putting, but certainly not enticing. That is part of the character of the sausage and so I'm going to go with it.
Let's slice bit off and give it a go ...
I fried off the sausage and then put nice rings on it in the grill pan.
Succumbing to French ways and served it with a small portion of fries: potato fries cooked in goose fat. Yes, potatoes, as paleo eaters we are getting the idea that potatoes might not be a bad thing every so often, and fried in goose fat, proper French, that.
Let's eat ...
I got through the first one, skin and all. The second one, I simply cut open and ate the insides ... almost finished it, too, leaving maybe a teaspoon of innards and the skin.
It does take over all your senses - I can smell that smell with everything, taste that taste with everything, but it's again, not absolutely revolting; more a reminder (and not a gentle one, neither) of what I've just eaten. Apparently this will stay with me for the day.
It's not up there with Hákarl (Icelandic putrified shark), but it's not far behind. I could eat it again, quite happily, but much less next time and as a little taste in a much larger dish, perhaps cold ... with an egg salad.
I guess I've earned my AAAAA badge ... Association Amicale des Amateurs d'Andouillette Authentique, roughly: Amicable Association of Admirers of Authentic Andouillette.
Until next time, I'll be happy to admire from afar ...