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Filet? Perhaps. Americain? Definitely Not.

I recall the first time I saw it.

It was probably two years ago, in the deli counter at my beloved Albert Heijn supermarket.

Filet Americain.

It sounded so intriguing, so continental, so, well, so non-American.

I can say that, in part because I am American. But also because it isn’t American.

I remember picking up the plastic deli container filled with a bright reddish-orange pureed paste. Turning it over, I read the list of ingredients. Okay, it’s made from beef. But what was it??

A quick google search and verification from three (because no less than three would have been irresponsible) Dutch friends confirmed that it was indeed pureed beef. Uncooked, pureed beef.

In other words, it was raw.

Hence, my confusion. Americans don’t eat raw beef. Oh sure, some brave foodies will rave about thinly sliced carpaccio, and a few hardy souls will try the occasional steak tartare.

But in terms of sheer numbers? In a nation of 320+ million people? We’re talking numbers so small as to be infinitesimal.

As for Filet Americain (or whatever we supposedly would call it IF we Americans actually ate it)?

No, nada, nee, non, nein, zip, zilch.

We’d no more eat Filet Americain than we would eat mayonnaise on our fries.

WE. JUST. DON’T. EAT. IT.

I’ve never even heard of it, and I’m a fairly well traveled American, both domestically and abroad. And a mini foodie wannabe to boot.

Clearly it’s part of an insidious international plot to once again foist responsibility for some foul foodstuff on Americans.

Read my lips: we don’t eat pureed raw beef. 

So of course when my brother and sister-in-law came to visit this past week, they were not only intrigued, they were gung ho to try it.

‘What??’ I asked plaintively. ‘You can’t possibly be serious.’

They were. Which is how the three of us and Husband ended up trying Filet Americain on crackers.

Regardless of the tomato paste, salt, pepper and garlic powder they put into it, I can only report that it was wretched.

It tasted like, well, lightly seasoned raw, pureed beef.

I will not bother trying it again. I will also never again complain about a wheat cracker. The brand I buy is flavorful, and did its utmost to help cover the taste of the vile stuff.

Now if you’d like to give Americans credit for wheat crackers, I’m sure we can work something out…

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