Megnut

Slate on variety meats

Interesting article over at Slate about all the gross things you usually only eat disguised as hot dogs, Offal Good - Why upscale chefs are serving euphemistically named "variety meats." Apparently British chef Fergus Henderson has a new book out entitled The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating that has recipes for all the parts that Americans tend to throw away.

The publication of Henderson's book heralds a new fashion in food, already discernable in various hot restaurants in New York: offal, the organs and extremities (nose, cheeks, tail, feet) of butchered animals, has become chic.

Foie gras, truffles, and other traditional staples of gastronomic excess now find themselves cheek by jowl on upscale menus with, well, cheeks and jowls.

I haven't noticed this trend yet, but maybe I'm not eating at the "right" spots. I certainly don't think I'll rush out and buy the book any time soon. While I'm in favor of using the whole of the animal or plant -- and don't like waste one bit -- I have a hard time trimming the tips off a chicken's wings before I put it in to roast. As a failed vegetarian, I now enjoy meat occasionally when I'm out, but it's pretty much impossible for me to do any kind of chopping, hacking, or anything else with animal parts in my own kitchen. I don't expect to be boiling a pig's head any time soon, even if I had a pot it would fit in.

Also, who's the editor at Slate that allowed such horrible pun for the title?

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