France: Ma Foi! Mon Foie!

To the average American, liver is for wurst. But to 47.6 million Frenchmen, le foie — when it is not gras — is the precious, pesky organ that regulates their lives. When a Frenchman exclaims, "Mon foie!", his cry from the gland wins instant sympathy, even in a Place de la Concorde traffic jam. Depending on whether it is swollen, too hard, too tender, congested, enrheumed or, as the French say, "intoxicated" from a surfeit of rich food, the liver is blamed for virtually every physical malfunction from ingrown toenails to inadequate amatory performance.

To assuage the Gallic gland, French men...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!