Saturday, July 4, 2009

the nasty bits

Anthony Bourdain is chef, raconteur, tv host, and author of the book The Nasty Bits, a wonderful collection of odds and ends about the restaurant business.The nasty bits in the restaurant trade are the left overs, the odd bits that you don't serve your best guest, but sometimes, contain great flavor and taste.

I am tired of hearing that the French are the nasty bits of European culture. They are not the left overs and remnants of the finer cuts of meat. If they are a little aloof and distant from Americans, perhaps it is because we, in turn, are aloof and distant. Try a little culture, speak the language, even if in trying to speak French, one commits cultural linguistic genocide.

I am in Saint Emilion, near Bordeaux, and trying to order mussels, so I ask the pretty young waitress for "moule." She is embarassed and runs to get another pretty young waitress who speaks English, and when I repeat myself saying, "Moule, you know mussels," she smiles and informs me that in French I am asking for "ass."

Try a little kindness. A smile and a little self-deprecating humor goes a long way.

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