Thankfully there is only one thing in this category:
Category 2: “Wow, that is the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten.”
Andouillette: During my Basic section of cuisine we had a market tour with one of our chefs. The chef was given $100 by the school and with a group of 10 we went to an open air market for some shopping and then returned to school to feast on our findings. Our group purchased a variety of normal market offerings: cheeses, charcuterie, fruit, breads; but we also purchased a few things that I hadn’t tried before: goose eggs, boudin noir (blood sausage), and andouillette (chitterling sausage). The goose egg was huge and greasy. The boudin noir, despite my timidity to taste it, was actually pretty tasty and not nearly as mineraley as I feared. The andouillette on the other hand was horrendous. In case you couldn’t tell from the translation, chitterling sausage, it’s made from pig’s colon. The taste is difficult to explain, but I’ll try. First of all the smell alone is nauseating, but I’ve come to learn that smell should not always be a deterrent as some very pungent smelling things have a much more appetizing taste (many soft cheeses for example). Andouillette is not such a thing. It has a very musty/old-dirty-sock smell and the taste, oh the taste is much, much more intense. I mean, I suppose it tastes how one might imagine colon to taste. It’s like that tent in your garage that has dust and dirt so deeply embedded into the fibers that no matter how much wash it and scrub it, it will always be somewhat dirty and dusty because the continuous exposure has made the dust and dirt one with the fabric. I think colon is like that. You can wash it, and soak it and even use chemicals, but it must be almost impossible to get rid of all traces of the “substances” that were being passed through it while it was in use. Not surprisingly, it’s considered an acquired taste, but you still find it on a fair number of menus in Paris. The other day I heard an American order it and somehow I could just tell that he did not know what he was getting into. I had a strong impulse to jump up and warn him, but lucky for me, the waitress saved me the embarrassment, because she must have had the same sixth sense as me. In a very un-French way (the French do not believe in getting involved in other people’s business), she asked him if he had ever had andouillette before. He must have realized from the tone of her voice that it was probably not the same as the spicy Cajun andouille sausage we have in the states and sensibly switched his order. I am all for trying new things and as a rule, I strongly encourage it…but regarding andouillette don’t say I didn’t warn you.