DISCLAIMER: I may turn you off your favourite junk food forever and gross you out. Please read with caution or skip this post entirely.
My mother was recently invited to go to some BBQ but declined because she knew there would be “hamburgers and hotdogs” there, but not actual steaks or seafood on the BBQ, which is what she considers “real food”, rather than junk.
Then I started laughing because I thought of how ironic it was on so many levels.
Many North Americans feel that offal (innards) and other “inedible” parts of the animals like the ears or the snout of a pig, are disgusting and they’d NEVER try cow tongue soup for instance.
For the record, I love cow tongue and a lot of other offal meats just as they are, like tripe. I find the flavours delicious.
On Top Chef and Top Chef Masters, I see this ALL OF THE TIME!
Chefs have to cook liver, sweetbreads (thymus glands of the veal), pigs trotters or pig ears as their challenge, because the average person finds those foods “disgusting”. You can also hear comments of: EWWW!!!!, in the crowd sometimes.
However if you think of what plants and butchers grind into “ground meat” or make hamburgers, chicken nuggets and hotdogs out of, it’s exactly what they’re eating, just in a highly processed, different format.
Chicken nuggets for instance, are all the parts of a chicken that an average person would find inedible. It’s ground into a foamy paste and if you want all the gory details to gross you out, go here.
I’ve seen butchers downtown, put ears, snouts, and anything they can find from parts of the animal into the grinder to make “minced meat” so that it is unrecognizable.
Don’t be sickened by offal meats any longer… you’ve been eating them for years, if you’ve indulged in junk food, fast food, hamburgers, hotdogs and any other kind of unrecognizable but highly processed meat that you haven’t ground from an actual chunk of meat you recognize.
And for the record, I actually do like eating hotdogs (street meat) once in a while (but I limit myself to one or two a year); like those Polish or German sausages, but not the ones pictured above that are slightly phallic.
I’m just not grossed out by it, or under a false impression that it’s “good” meat or acceptable to eat.