This French Festival Is Offaly Good

A festival of "little stomachs" salutes variety meats and the rich history of Limoges.

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This French Festival Is Offaly Good

On the third Friday of every October, Limoges celebrates offal. Yes, organ meat: spleen, intestine, brains, blood, kidneys… all of those delicacies that seem so foreign and maybe even a bit unpalatable take place of pride at the Frairie des Petits Ventres, which takes place on the aptly named rue de la Boucherie, or butchery street.

This October played host to the 42nd edition of the festival, which actually has roots in a medieval tradition. The frairie was held every year once the weather became cool enough to sell these morsels, and the local butchers—who were once the stars of Limoges’ economy and social structure—were the hosts.

Today, the festival is a celebration of all local foods. When it opens early in the morning, the festival welcomes mainly an older clientele, who grew up on many of these now-rare cuts of meat and come here to source them for a once-a-year treat. In the afternoon, locals who work in nearby offices come to the neighborhood for andouillette sandwiches and local flognarde cake. In the evenings, the entire city floods the street, as the young and old mingle and eat, drink and dance.

Emily Monaco is a born-and-raised New Yorker based in Paris. After many years of trying, she has come to the conclusion that she will likely never be French. She writes about her experiences with Franglais and food on her blog, Follow her on Twitter @emiglia.