What I am about to show you is bar none the most disgusting thing I have ever seen on a plate in a restaurant, and I ate it. Brace yourself, this is not for the faint of stomach. I've eaten frog legs, snails, and even freaking pork knuckles here, but none of those could prepare me for what I ate last night. I present you with Tartare:
They didn't even sculpt it into a nice shape or anything!
You are seeing correctly: that is in fact 1/3 lb of raw ground beef on a plate. Raw doesn't even begin to describe it; the last time this meat was warm it was alive. It was served chilled. I still don't believe I ate that, but I have proof.
Unlike the pork knuckle, I was not misled with this one. I asked the French people I was with what Tartare was, and they explained that it was uncooked ground beef. I asked several, just to make sure I was hearing right. The non-French at the table all thought this was disgusting, but most of the French were actually ordering. I thought, why not? This is something I would never be able to get at a restaurant in the states, and I'd always been a little curious as to what raw ground beef tasted like.
For your information, it tastes exactly like you think it does. The surprise is that taste isn't actually as bad as you think it is. It's certainly not delicious; the same meat would certainly taste much better cooked. It is, however, entirely edible, especially if you smother it in sauces and things. It was most noticeable later, because it sat in my stomach like a bloody brick. I'm pretty sure my digestive system has absolutely no idea what to do with it.
In their defense, this supposedly isn't actually French, it's from Crimean Tartars (thus the name). The Russians insisted there's nothing like this in Russia, but that it's possible that the Tartars eat this stuff because they're weird like that.