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The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON
LECTURE ONE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d__In2PQS60
LECTURE TWO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al7O2puvdDA

ALSO AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ONE THROUGH TEN ON IDEOLOGICAL CRITIQUE



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Thursday, June 13, 2013

CULINARY NOTES FROM ALL OVER

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?

5 comments:

jim said...

The T-bone actually has tenderloin and shortloin parts, so French Butchers may regard this cut wasteful.

mesnenor said...

See here: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filet_de_b%C5%93uf for a graphic that shows how different the traditional cuts of meat are in France and the US.

imcdpe said...

It rather well known that American butchers cut up their beef in different ways than their European counterparts. So much for Plato's fantasy that there are natural joints in nature for the philosopher to carve.

David Auerbach said...

Well there are natural joints and the French method of butchery adheres more closely to them.
What's going on in that French diagram of cuts is that the animal is butchered along whole muscles.
A great cut is the onglet (hanger). Unlike most every other muscle cut, just one per animal (it's that piece that hangs down in middle of the underbelly). It isn't as tender as some other cuts, but it is gloriously flavorful and cooked right (high high heat, briefly, rest it, slice on the bias against the grain).
I once had a hilarious time, in my bad French, asking for lamb shanks. The beloved and wonderful book by Richard Olney (Simple French Food) referred to them as souris (spelling?), which leads to jokes about mice. Also, the French distinguish the foreshanks from the rearshanks (which, I think, may not leave the leg in French butchery; I should look).
Then there the time I asked for the marrow to make Olney's wonderous chicken liver terrine (it uses butter and marrow as the fat component). I would have been perfectly happen with 2 inch pieces that I could push the marrow out of. But no! Macho butcher stands the bones on end and raising his cleaver, cleaves them with a might blow, creating two half-moon bones with easily accessible marrow. The only bone chips were from the beef bones.
J'adore paupiettes; see if the butcher (or some butcher) will do a sweetbread containing one. Ahh, can you tell I miss Paris.
While we're on the subject, go visit L'Autre Boulange in the 11th.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

David, I think I need to sponsor you for a trip to Paris so that you can take me by the hand and lead me through the complexities of shopping in France [and in French].