English is a curious language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats is an old English word for what the Americans like to call ‘candy’ while sweetbreads are neither sweet, nor do they contain bread. The thymus of a calf, or sweetbreads, is highly prized, I gather. Having thought of myself as a quite sophisticated foodie, I have recently begun to realise that what I really know about food could comfortably be inscribed on the back of a relatively modest shirt cuff. Differences between ‘traditionnel’ and ‘nouveau’ have effortlessly passed me by. Eliciting gales of laughter, having disingenuously informed people here that I had never tried sweetbreads resulted in an ‘OK, let’s educate the boy’ approach. Within five minutes, fried sweetbreads a la crème, flambé in Cognac with puffy pommes dauphines was placed in front of me.
Oh, what a fool I felt. It was, of course, screamingly, meltingly, outrageously good. I almost licked the plate clean. OK. I lied. I did. Feverishly.