Ah, France. Home of Notre Dame, l'Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower and fine cuisine. Fine, disgusting cuisine.
The chocolate and such is all right. It's when you get into what they consider cuisine that you have to wonder what the hell went wrong. The whole frog-eating thing is 100% true, as is eating snails (classily called escargot). Frogs and snails...aren't those two of the ingredients that go into making little boys?
Then they have this. Oh, gosh, there is NO way to make this one look good without turning it into a fine paste, France.
They Actually Eat That?!
Well, it doesn't look like that when it gets to your table. It looks more like this:
Sometimes, there's even more garnish or sauce.
Foie gras (lit. ''fatty liver") is made from the fattened liver of a goose or duck. It can be sold as mousse, parfait or pate, which all sound pretty classy given that it is still an animal's liver. There is a VERY good chance that you will never want to order it off of a French restaurant's menu again after reading this entry.
If liver was not gross enough already, the French have found a million ways to make the geese suffer in the process. Sure, they're free to frolic about as little goslings...but as soon as possible, they are stuffed into little box-like cages for phase two of foie gras preparation:
Is it just me or are these particular geese possessed, too?
Europe is more humane than people in the U.S. to many of their animals. These geese are not among them. After being crammed into tiny cages, they are force-fed corn ("gavaged") until their livers turn yellow with fat. Then the organ is made into whatever classier form you like.
This doesn't look half bad. I avoid most meat and I'm salivating a little.
France not only considers this a perfectly legitimate part of their culture, but did not invent that method of force-feeding. It goes all the way back to ancient Egypt. Yes, the Egyptians gavaged their geese; it was fairly well-known throughout the ancient world. It will not being going away any time soon, unlike the perfectly preventable (and equally sick) factory farming.