La cervelle de Canut

I’m a sucker for food history. I wasted a fair chunk of my life on Wikipedia reading about who made the first hot dog and where croissants actually came from. I find it truly fascinating. Well, our new March menu comes with a couple of french classics so I went ahead and did my homework (let’s call it that) and thought I should share my findings with you.

On this month menu you will find a Sammy of Pastrami with Cervelle de Canut and nope, it’s not an offal sandwich. Contrary to what you could think, Cervelle de Canut has very little to do with an actual brain, it’s a fresh cheese spread seasoned with chopped herbs, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar. It is the bomb. I was lucky enough to grow up in the Lyon region, where this deliciousness is from, and I remember gorging on it from an early age, disregarding any set rules of bread to Cervelle de Canut ratio.

Now, why is it call Cervelle de Canut if it’s 100% vegetarian? (and yet not boring… hum… maybe I should retink my positon.) Well, the Canuts were silk workers, operating in Lyon during the 19th century, and most of them were super poor and couldn’t afford the real “cervelle” so they’d make their own with cream and herbs, put that on bread and potatoes and call it dinner. Smart.

Any how, it pairs beautifully with the richness and saltiness of the Pastrami which, once wrapped between two slices of Pain Baltic from Liberté, makes one mean sandwich, but you’ll be the judge of that.

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