When you are planning to visit Lyon, the French ‘Capital of Gastronomy’, it’s vital to not miss out on the best culinary experiences on offer in the city’s legendary bouchons and restaurants. A typical French dinner is a proper feast, long and filling and full of warmth and a showcase for top quality local produce. So be mentally and physically prepared for a lengthy experience! You will start with the entrée, of course, so here is my pick of the best ones to try, some of which use lesser known and strongly flavoured cuts of meat or regional speciality meat products.
1. Salade de foies de volailles is a chicken liver salad made simply with lettuce and pan-fried chicken liver.
2. Fromage de tête This is a ‘pork head cheese’ which is actually not a cheese. It is a type of terrine or meat jelly made with flesh from the head of a calf or pig, or less commonly a sheep or cow.
3. Groins d’âne salad Don’t be put off by the name which literally means “donkey snout”. This is actually a lovely salad made using dandelion leaves topped with lardons and eggs.
4. Tête de veau is a poached calf’s head made of beef, veal or calf’s brains.
5. Salade Lyonnaise is the eponymous, most famous local salad, a green beauty served with bacon strips, croutons, mustard dressing, and topped with a poached egg
6. Gateau de volaille This is a ‘cake’ made using chicken liver.
7. Boudin noir Blood sausage, often pan-friend and served with warm apples.
8. Cochonnaille de porc A selection of Lyonnais cold cuts including typical regional saucissons such as rosette, jésus and saucisson de Lyon to name a few.
9. Saucisson de Lyon brioché Cooked sausage in a brioche, served warm.
10. Fonds d’artichauts aux foie gras: Artichoke hearts with foie gras.