Whenever I have to do some serious shopping I go to Avignon, or, to be more precise to Le Pontet, a big shopping center in the northern part of Avignon. Just about every time I am there I meet a man I really do consider to almost be a friend now: the charming Mr. Raki who works at in the meat department of Auchan. Blessed with an enormous sense of humour, a fabulous gift of the gab and just plain Gallic charm, Mr. Raki is usually to be found manning a small BBQ station. If the delicious smells wafting all over the place don't draft you towards him, some quirky remarks almost certainly will. And then he makes you taste: little morsels of tender lamb, delicious sausages, tiny strips of beef fillet. And he succeeds everytime: I just can't help but add whatever he is promoting into my shopping basket.
The charming Mr. Raki
Except last Wednesday. For this time Mr.Raki was grilling Andouilettes. And if there is one thing in the whole big world of French culinary wonders I will not eat it is Andouillettes. Not because they are made of tripe. I do eat tripe if it is well prepared - Tripe à la Florentine can be delicious.
But I draw the line at Andouilettes. Because they smell. They smell in a way that turns my stomach. Most French people love them. There is no BBQ where you don't find a few of those stinkers happily sizzling away. But this is one of those things you either love to eat or hate to even have to smell. Even Mr. Raki couldn't tempt me into tasting them. And that means something.
Andouilettes - tripe sausages