Once upon a time Dan and I were talking about head cheese. He asked (over AIM... ah, the good old days) if I'd ever eaten it and I said something along the lines of "hell, yeah!" I've always loved foods made up of various amalgamated meat stuffs whether it be sausages, salamis, hot dogs, bologna, and I'd remembered as a kid being given head cheese by my great aunt and loving it. I loved it so much that I spent the picnic indoors next to the head cheese, eating it slice by slice until very little remained. In an effort to stop the madness, my great aunt told me what they used to make head cheese. When this didn't dissuade me, she told me that she'd lied and that it was actually made of rattlesnakes. I moved onto the cake.
This traumatizing moment aside, I think head cheese is great. But as I learned from our AIM conversation so many years ago, Dan thought it was a little creepy.
All it takes to enjoy a food like head cheese is to not think about eating pig cheeks (if that sort of thing bothers you), but instead to just taste the terrine for what it is: delicious, flavorful pieces of meat in a dainty little package, ideally on some crusty bread with a smear of grainy mustard and a glass of wine in hand. In our case, the wine was a spritely rose.
We'd stopped at Epicerie Boulud for an afternoon snack following a rainy day of shopping in Columbus Circle. Dan ordered us a charcuterie, not totally reading all of the components, I think. When the server brought us our platter of goodies, he explained them one-by-one including the "fromage de tete."
Dan, always a good sport and adventurous eater, happily tried them all. But not without comment on how much more appetizing the literal English-to-French translation of "head cheese" to "fromage de tete" made the item sound.
What other foods do you think would sound more appetizing if they had some alternate foreign-sounding name?