Mon nom 1

Beef cuts - French

My name is pronounced and spelled the same way as the entrée it takes guts to order in French restaurants.

It is written as one word and not two: we are not descended from French nobility, not even, as is often asked, from a family of butchers. Neither are we big meat eaters, although meat is central to hearty Alsatian fare. In the ’80s and ’90s, my father’s many travels to the Far East left a lasting mark on his taste buds. With each of his voyages he brought home food tales that my mother’s cooking magic, and the availability of new produce, made come true.

Yet until the revamping of our eating habits, one famous meat story took place, time and again, in the mountains of the Hautes-Vosges where the Schaffhausers’ farm was nestled.

photo 1

The fromage de Munster they made often diverted us from the hiking trails — so often that we soon became friends. They would sell their equally excellent meat to people they knew well and trusted, for they sold it illegally, avoiding government health scrutiny and taxation. The young calves were slaughtered on the farm in the heart of winter months and their meat cut into big chunks in the barn. A call from our friends, and we’d drive up the mountain pass, park the car at the top, put backpacks on and ski to the farm, riding across fir forests and windblown lands. At the barn few words were exchanged as meat was packed and schnapps, rounds of it, warmed up the hands. No shots for me, but a canard — or two when pleading paid off. Night had fallen by the time we would leave, and the little girl I was proudly followed in her Dad’s tracks, giddy with excitement and the weight of a bloody secret strapped on her shoulders.

photo 2

By AbrahamiOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

— Claire

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

15 − twelve =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

All original content on these pages is fingerprinted and certified by Digiprove