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...

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