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Vincent ter Beek

Function: Editor of Pig Progress / Blog: All about pigs
Vincent ter Beek, born 1976, has been working for Pig Progress since 2005 and he became editor of the magazine and website two years later. Before joining Reed Business, he worked as a journalist at a Dutch newspaper and as a college teacher.

Blogger, Author

Back in France to attend this year's edition of the livestock show SPACE in Rennes – and had a first brief encounter with the country's pork tradition, although it wasn't a great one for me personally.

Travelling from the Netherlands is about nine to ten hours’ drive, so by the time the outskirts of Rennes had been reached in the early evening batteries of the travellers were empty and we all craved for some food and a quiet place to relax.

In a pizza place just outside Rennes they served a Pizza de la Bretagne – apparently a local flavour to the traditional Italian dish it! It had one hitherto unknown ingredient to me – andouille de Guémené. It vaguely had a vegetable sound, I thought – but since my French is so-so, I asked the waiter to be certain. His answer was something which sounded like ‘charcuterie du porc’ – pork cuttings.

Fair enough, I thought, should be fine. We’re in France, let’s have what the Britons have. Felt somewhat dizzy and I could eat a horse (which was on the menu as well coincidentally).

Had overestimated myself though. From the moment we received our plates, my nose kept sending signals to my brain of some rather strong, unknown and not entirely pleasant odour entering. Furtively I hoped it was one of my neighbours’ plates – but no, after the first bite I knew it was unmistakenly mine.

Managed to get halfway the pizza, that was about it – a negative record for me.

So back in the hotel, I’ve paid a little visit to Wikipedia. Andouille turned out to be a spiced and heavily smoked sausage. It also read: "Traditional French andouille is composed primarily of the [pig] intestines and stomach."

Next time I think I’ll have pig ears again!

by Vincent ter Beek

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One comment

  • # 1

    Philippe Caldier

    I like your story, Vincent. In order to improve your knowledge of the andouille, try next time the "Andouille de Vire" which is the little sister of Andouille de guéméné but in Normandy. You also have the "andouillette de Troyes" in Champagne region. Andouille and andouillette belong to a nice family of French very tasty pig products. You've not finished your experiences, Vincent!

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