Susie is a dedicated meat eater, and I am therefore under constant pressure to buy more beef and less fish for our dinner. We have now been in Paris long enough so that I have pretty well exhausted my culinary repertoire. I have cooked quail [twice], duck, rabbit, mackerel, dorade royale, rouget barbet, tuna, a gambas stew, andouillettes de canard, pork cutlets, paupiettes provencal [prepared by the butcher], coquelet [what we call in the States a Cornish Game Hen -- actually just a young chicken], even a meat sauce for spaghetti. So today, when I went to the market, I decided to buy a T-bone steak -- Susie's favorite because she loves the bone. I looked up the word for T-bone steak in my huge Larousse French-English dictionary, and found a very odd French word, "aloyau." Susie and I then spent a hilarious ten minutes at the butcher shop trying to explain what we wanted, with absolutely no success.
From this experience, I concluded that one of two things must be true. Either cows in France lack certain bones that American cows have or French butchers cut up the cow in such a way that they do not produce T-bones, carving the meat away from the bone and throwing the bone away.
The first hypothesis, although rather engaging, struck me as unlikely. But could the second possibly be true? Google to the rescue. On a site devoted to a loving and detailed description of every conceivable cut of beef, I came upon the following claim: "T-Bone steaks cannot be sold in France (Europe?) because of the whole mad cow thing a few years ago - because they may supposedly contain tissue from the spinal column of the animal. For some bizarre reason, you can buy them in Germany, though."
Do you suppose this can possibly be true?