THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER EATEN: Rillettes de Porc
Rillettes is a deeply French creation not dissimilar to pate, especially in texture. It is made from local produce in the Tours, Anjou and Sarthe (La Mans) regions. I was lucky enough have this taste sensation whilst sitting at a beautiful bed and breakfast in La Mans country.
The family that owned the B&B invited us to diner at their table (pictured) and cooked us a traditional French meal (there are no pictures of the meal itself because I felt rude taking pictures whilst dining). The start of this epicurean journey was marked by the popping of Champagne and the dipping of bread into homemade Rillettes de Porc. For me the journey could have ended then and there, the rustic texture had my knees shaking and the depth of flavour quickly saw me take a second dip.
I enquired about the delicious dip and was told in depth the process of making the little pot of heaven which involves several hours of work and generally contains pork belly, lean raw ham and lard. I was told that rillettes is commonly confused with pate as it is made to be dark, smooth and creamy in the Tours and Anjou regions, as a result rillettes was referred to as ‘the poor’s pate’. In Sarthe however, rillettes are characterised by a rustic texture complete with larger pieces of pork and lighter colour.
Rillettes are popular in France and can be made with a number of different game and can even be found in the tinned section of a supermarket, however, it is not this common in Australia.