Thursday, October 30, 2008

What am I eating?

At La Grand Epicerie yesterday I was dutifully getting my bananas weighed in the produce section. Next to the scale there was a mound of what looked to me like petrified maggots.

Is your mouth watering yet?

Without gagging, and masking the astonished horror in the back of my throat, I calmly asked the serveuse about them.

"Ce sont des crosnes," she replied matter-of-factly. Noting my interest, she added enthusiastically, "They are somewhat of a specialty item in France; they taste a bit like artichoke, but you cook them like a potato. The are appreciated by gourmets, but are somewhat rare, which is why they are priced at this level."

Which was €39.95 per kilo.

You only live (or die) once, so I took the plunge and asked for une poignée -- a handful.

Guess what I'm having for dinner tonight?


pdxknitterati/MicheleLB said...

Well, that's only $23.46/pound! Doesn't that sound less dear? And you only need a little...How were they?

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

My husband brought those home from the market once, and we found them interesting, but not worth the price, at least not with the recipe I used. Worth trying once, though.

Although if you find a good way to cook them, let me know!

Polly-Vous Francais said...

I got invited out for dinner so will have to report back after tomorrow lunch or dinner; I hope lack of immediate freshness doesn't change the taste by tomorrow.

Stay tuned !

Adam said...

Aren't they just slightly posh 'topinambour', or Jerusalem artichokes?

Polly-Vous Francais said...

I'm not much of a gourmet. I tried steaming them and then tossing them in butter and parsley as the serveuse recommended.

My heart (and stomach) just weren't into it.

And I can be adventurous when eating new food items. Maybe it's better when Someone Else is the cook!

La Mom-an American Mom in Paris said...

I agree - it's so much better when cooked by someone else! My mother in law is so creative with these. On the other hand when I try it's just not the same. I won't even try to serve to my French Fries.

Anonymous said...

Oh no, you must describe the taste! I'm curious now!

Jonathan Wonham said...

Amazing, they look like coprolites!

ruth said...

nowhere near as pricey here in provence (julian's wife here) so will have to try them. so far we have discovered and absolutely loved salsify and cardoons!

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