Lyon is known as a bit of a gastronomic capital and has a long history of cultivating fine foods. Sadly, we didn’t sit down to eat at a local bouchon (restaurant specialising in local Lyonais cuisine) whilst we where there: partially because of our meagre student wallets, but mostly because the restaurants were packed and we wanted a break from the crowds. If I ever find myself back in Lyon, I hope to try le gnafron à la crème (little bites of cured sausage cooked in the fry-pan and served with crème fraîche, eggs, gruyère cheese and a crumb toppping), which is named for a character, gnafron, in the hand puppet theatre that was popular in Lyon at the turn of the 19th Century. There are a lot of other specialities out there, many of which involve sausage or cured meats. One food which I dare not try, is boeuf haché. Raw mince beef with a raw egg cracked on top… the description doesn’t leave me with much of an appetite, but I have friends who assure me it is scrumptious. They haven’t won me over yet.
There seem to be a great number of restaurants in central Lyon, and at times it was hard to distinguish the authentic establishments from the tourist traps. We passed one restaurant with a comfy, country atmosphere. The sign above the door read “When chickens have teeth”, which is the French is equivalent to “When pigs fly”. And, that my friends, is when I will try boeuf haché.