Just offal

by | Oct 1, 2007 | Blog, Memoir | 1 comment

Sunday morning in London, and you can’t go past a big breakfast fry-up. Discovering that she lacked a few key ingredients, Maria ventured to the top of the street to the local butcher, and returned with more than a few thin sausages.

“It’s all about offal” was the name of the full-colour booklet Maria’s butcher had placed inside her shopping bag, detailing exciting ways with tripe, kidney, liver, tongue, and even cow heel. Just the thing to read before brunch. I now know a recipe for “Pressed ox tongue salad with horseradish and honey dressing” that has only 24g of fat per serve, and another for “Braised oxtail with star anise” for 40g of fat but a whopping 67.7g of protein. Leanest are the ox kidney (2.1g fat per 100g) followed by the lamb’s kidney (2.6g) and lamb’s liver (6.2g). If all of that hasn’t turned your stomach, then you might be as intrigued as I was to learn that “lamb fries” refers to the testicles of the beast, and “sweetbreads” to the glands situated in the neck and above the heart of a young lamb.

I suppose it’s a measure of a carnivore’s hypocrisy to cringe in disgust at certain parts of an animal and readily digest others. But cringe we did. And, later, we ate our sausages.

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