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It's that time of year again. The time when we probably lived closer to the sea in Guildford (Surrey, UK) than we are here, yet everybody does the whole icky-fish thing. You can't even say it's a Breton hang-over, because it happens outside of both the official and unofficial boundaries (depending on whether or not you think the department of Loire-Atlantique is a part, as it was historically).

The woman on the right (scanned from the Super U loyalty card magazine issue 107 décembre 2006) is demonstrating what I am talking about - the magazine even describes these as "délices"!
Imagine she's my girlfriend's mother and she's done this nice "French" thing for a Christmas dinner. Okay, imagine I paid her to appear randomly in my life to provide this meal, that's probably easier than imagining me doing the whole girlfriend thing. Anyway, point is, of that, I think the lemon is about the only part I see as being edible. The rest? I think I'd watch her down the molluscs, sea snails, crusty slug-like things, and so on with a sense of mildly bemused horror. And if she spends the next 30 hours with her head in the toilet and her digestion in fast rewind, can I please say "I told you so"?

There are growing concessions for us Brits. A local supermarket has a "roast turkey" that is a big lump of meat, greased, shrink-wrapped in a metal tin and in the freezer department. In lieu of that, your choice is either boring meat or exotic meat. If you're the sort of person that happily munches on Quorn... well, I guess that's like trying to find a meat-free meal at the Buffalo Grill (shades of Texas, so the name oughta be a clue...).

The boring meat - pig, cow, pig, chicken, pig, lamb, pig, veal, and possibly some pig.
The exotic meat - well, we start with "pintade" (pin-tah-d) which is like a sort of Quail-sized chicken thing. Your starter for one. Then there's wild boar ("sanglier" san-glee-er), Bambi ("bîche" bee-sh), and something like "autriche" which is either Ostrich or butchered Austrians... I'm not sure I could really tell the difference having never considered eating either.

For me? Most likely roast chicken, roast spud (the best bit), roast carrot. Basically prepare a bunch of stuff, shove it in the oven, come back later...


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