An undercover investigator working for NewsBiscuit has returned from France after an in-depth look at the abattoirs of Nice. He was there on holiday anyway, and as they say in France, "two chickens one stone".
Arnold Cullins (not his real name) gained access to a series of animal processing plants a short way inland from the Riviera paradise, and learned an uncomfortable truth about how the unpalatable background of the meat on our plates is disguised. In a world exclusive, he shares this information with British consumers for the first time.
'In the UK, we call them abattoirs,' explained Cullins. 'Because we think of the French as sexy and chic, the word abattoir conjures the image of a mysterious place of beauty and finesse. Or maybe we don't even think about it at all. In fact, our high-end meat production plants which supply Michelin Star restaurants in the UK are run by a company called L'Abattoir Garnier. But If you put lipstick on a slaughtered pig to charge more for it, it's still just lipstick on an overpriced headless pig swinging upside-down from a hook on a Swindon industrial estate.
'In France, they call abattoirs "pig-mashings". For some of the general public with a basic understanding of English, this generates mental images of efficient culling without workers standing around stubbing out their Gauloises cigarettes on hanging carcasses, shrugging, and calling all-out strikes for six weeks. For the rest, they don't even stop to think about what pig-mashings means, and either way It makes the French feel more comfortable about all the slashing and blood which needs to take place to serve up a lovely cut of pork.
'Ironically, they don't serve Corned Beef in Cannes. But I went to a well classy restaurant in Nice and they don't call it Michelin Stars over there. They call it Dunlop Rings.'