Sunday, 29 July 2012

Je ne parle pas très bien français

So my first week here in Lyon is officially over.
What have I learnt so far? Well, apart from the fact that Lyon is a pretty underrated city, I have managed to discover a bit about its culture and cuisine. This city is really very beautiful and I actually think I've fallen in love with the place, especially the old city.  

Walking around the city I noticed a lot of cafes and restaurants with the sign 'Bouchon' imprinted over their signs and windows. After inquiring about it I learnt that Bouchons are traditional bistros that are unique to Lyon culture, serving up a range of classic local dishes which are based on the snacks of the silk workers during the 18th century.

Most of the dishes are centred around meat, especially pork and offal, and whilst the second choice might not sound all that appetizing, the meats are often cured, or infused with herbs and spices, which, in the long run make a delicious meal. Some typical dishes include, andouille (grilled chitterlings sausage), saucisson de Lyon (sausage made from pork leg), tripe, cervelle de canut which is literally translated as "brains of the silk-weaver" (cream cheese mixed with garlic and herbs), and quenelles (flour, egg, and cream dumplings).

So yesterday I decided to try one out and went to a Bouchon in the old city. It had a rather rustic and traditional interior with a lovely terraced area for outside seating which is what attracted me to this place. I sampled the salade lyonnaise as an entree which is a mix of lettuce with small blocks of bacon, croutons, and a poached egg, all topped with a mustard based dressing (I'm not actually sure of the name). The mix of flavours complemented each other really well, what with the refreshing taste of the lettuce against the saltiness of the bacon and the spiceyness of the dressing. Next I tried the Saucisson de Lyon in a Beaujolais (red wine) sauce which was served up with dauphinoise potatoes. The sausage was sliced up pretty thick which made it quite filling but all in all it was a nice and flavoursome dish. Whilst the food wasn't too bad, I heard some nasty rumours that the food at this particular diner is pre-prepared and then microwaved. So I'm definitely keen to try another place and another dish! 

If you're wondering why I've been talking about food so much I've taken the role of the food critic for this project I'm currently involved in. This isn't a food blog, I'm just sharing my experiences! 

Thanks for reading!

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