3 French Dishes Americans Just Don’t Understand

Sadly, French cuisine is not all about buttery croissants and brioche


As a general rule, we Americans love French food. Thoughts of a vacation in France conjure up images of flakey croissants, crusty baguettes, ripe cheeses, hearty coq au vin, and delicate macarons. And that’s before we’ve even started dreaming about sipping on some of the world’s finest wines. However, hidden amongst the crêpes, soupe à l’oignon, and tarte tatin, there are several dishes which we simply don’t — and never will — understand, despite their status as French culinary classics.


It looks like a regular sausage, ready to be put on the grill and eaten on a classic bun smothered in ketchup and mustard, but it really, really smells. And not in a good way. It smells of sewage, and is best eaten with a peg on your nose. The taste is really pretty good, but the pungent scent, a result of it being made of pig intestines, means we really will never, ever understand this dish.

Steak Tartare

Why would you eat your steak raw, topped with a raw egg and mixed up with raw onion, when you could grill it? We’ll never understand the French love of beginning their meal with this mushed up, totally uncooked steak: We may like our steak served rare, but not to that extreme.

Tête de Veau

Just the name of this dish is enough to make sure it will never be popular amongst Americans. This dish is literally made of sliced calf’s head, and takes up to seven hours to prepare. It’s served sliced, in a warm broth, topped with calf’s brain. Thankfully, after years of being held in high esteem, this classic French dish is finally falling out of favor, even in Paris.

Related Links
French 101: 14 Essential French Foods to KnowThe 10 Best French Restaurants in America7 French Food Terms You Should KnowYou Must Try These 9 Foods When You Travel to FranceTop 10 Ways Julia Child Changed the Way We Cook