04 October 2008

What is the deal?

In the spirit of full disclosure, I must confess that not all of my kitchen endeavors are successes.  Just last night, I had one of those flops that I'll remember (and steer clear of) for years to come.  Ham hock terrine.  Just the name of it makes me want to retch a little (as eating it wanted to make do last night).  
A terrine, is basically a fancy, cold loaf of veggies or meat that is suspended in gelatin.  Explaining it now again gives me pause about why in the world I wanted to try this in the first place, but it is absolutely a beautiful thing to behold.  My pictures do not give justice to how pretty a dish this actually is, however strange it may taste.  Separately, the components all taste good, cabbage leaves, parsley, ham hock, but to suspend them in gelatin, that is what my taste buds just did not understand nor agree with.
My purpose for this post is definitely not to share a recipe (if you're really interested I'm sure you can find your own) but to hopefully open a dialogue with other foodies about what the deal is with terrines.  Is it just my uncultured American taste buds that terrines disagree with?  Is it that I found a horrid recipe for them?  Does anyone actually LIKE them?  I had my husband do the dishes last night because I couldn't stand to look at it any more (My husband thought I was completely over-reacting and didn't find it bad at all) it was that unappetizing to me.


Hopie said...

That does look beautiful. I love the colors! Too bad it didn't taste good. I can see your objection to suspending good meats and veggies in gelatin. I'm not a big terrine person myself, but I think there are more and less subtle terrines and I have tasted decent ones, so maybe it was the recipe in part... In any case it was a brave initiative!

runny_yolk said...

I don't know -- there's something about the French and gelatin that I just don't get. I remember reading about Poulet en aspic from Julia Child and wondering why would someone do that to food???

Thank you for your lovely comments!

Alicia Foodycat said...

The cabbage leaves are a bit odd, but I have had that sort of pork & parsley en gelee before and really enjoyed it.

But I thought the Americans were the kings of weird jell-o salads, so I would have thought you'd like this!?

NuKiwi said...

Ah, this one it quite beautiful, yet I'd probably agree with your taste buds...I can't stand anything gelatinesque - even grandma's Jello fruit salads...just can't do it. Anyway, thanks for your comment on my blog. I'll be following yours now, if that's okay?... You have some lovely recipes. Looking forward to more! Tiff

Joie de vivre said...

I would really like to feign outrage at your comment about Americans being the kings of weird jello salads, but sadly, I cannot. One of my husbands favorite jello salads from his youth had canned pineapple, carrots, lemon jello, marshmallows and sour cream. My father in law's favorite recipe is a tomato aspic made with Campbell's tomato soup. Perhaps if I had made the terrine with lemon jello I would have liked it better? :) Thanks for your comments everyone!