Now, this may be something particular to Alsace, what with it’s strongly German influenced attitude to cuisine, but I have been caught out twice by French foodstuffs in disguise.

The first case was when I purchased a ‘Tarte au Riesling’ from the butchers. A pie-like object that appeared to be something akin to a steak and kidney pie – but with Pork and Riesling (white wine) as the filling. Sounds nice doesn’t it? But to my surprise (and horror) it was little more than meatloaf-en-croute. A solid lump of minced pork-bits with a pastry crust. Most of which went straight in the bin after dinner.

The second instance was when I purchase a roasting ‘joint’ at the supermarket.

‘Roti de veau forestier’ (forest worker’s veal roast) is what it said on the packet, so should I be forgiven for thinking that I was buying a hunk of veal? No. If it had said ‘roti de veau’ then yes, veal is what it would have been, but the addition of the ‘forestier’ adjective indicates (obviously!) that it’s actually an elongated meatloaf wrapped in a bit of veal.

This leads me to wonder what the big deal is about meatloaf – and why they feel the need to disguise it as something else? Is pork regarded as the poor man’s ham?