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Aug 23, 2009 08:47 PM

Curious about offal and all those other odds and ends in Edmonton.

After some time living in Central America, and now years of watching chefs dine on the 'bizarre' (Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain as an example), does anyone know of a place here or around Edmonton that serves up these treats. Everything from brains too testicles. If you have some thoughts or suggestions, lets hear them. Thanks in advance.

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  1. You could ask the meat vendors at the Strathcona Farmers Market. I've seen some of them with organ meat - Four Whistle often has lamb heart and kidney, occassionally spleen and tongue. Trowlseworthy has heart and kidney sometimes. If asked, they might be able to bring you some other parts. I asked one of the other ones once about pigs spleen and a full pigs head (had just bought Fergus Henderson's cook book...) and he said those things generally don't come back from the processor (end up in sausage or dog food I guess), and sometimes it is because gov't doesn't allow it. He wasn't sure, for example, if he would be allowed to get me a head. Haven't followed up...pigs head seems more like a winter meal!

    6 Replies
    1. re: Dan G

      Thanks Dan, I was thinking the market would be a viable option. I was actually surprised to see a fair amount of cuts recently at Superstore; tripe, kidney, feet, ears etc..Alas no testicles, brains, sweetbreads.

      I've been wondering about a head as well, funny you should bring that up. I was privy once to a whole head roasted in the ground..and would be interested in trying something myself (I've been meaning to pick up Fergus' book). I wonder if I can actually track down some information on legislation..

      1. re: raidar

        Hi there - i'd suggest checking with your local butcher. Mine never had any - but once i asked, I found out that they don't usually advertise it, but are able to get access to everything you're looking for. The bonus? It's cheap!

        1. re: foodosopher

          Asian grocery butchers too. The T&T in the north end has a rotating selection of various pig parts pre-packaged in styrofoam trays. I've seen ears, snouts, blood, hearts, intestines, trotters, and many more.

          I know people who have gotten whole bbq'd pigs (head and all) from Chinese bbq places, so they may be a source too although they probably aren't legally allowed to sell them raw.

          1. re: foodosopher

            Yeah, foodsopher. The butcher is a good option. I'm actually surprised at how much some off cuts have become lately, but I'll have to look back into it.

            I've forgotten all about checking in at T&T, maybe a good reason to visit the new location.

            With some great possibilities of buying/cooking myself; is anyone aware of restaurants serving such treats? I would have thought, for example, that prairie oysters would be easy to find in Alberta. Even in Calgary it seems the sale of such items is centered around Stampede time.

            1. re: raidar

              I bet there isn't enough demand for prairie oysters... probably too much of a novelty item to carry regularly. I've had sweetbreads at the Blue Pear.

              1. re: anonymoose

                I noticed sweetbreads on their menu anonymoose (oddly enough, a 'how to cook sweetbreads' video is on the right side of chow right now). I don't think however, my budget would allow for too many meals at Blue Pear.. ;) Makes me miss cheap random street meats!

      2. it is very funny you posted this, because i planned on asking a similar question to this board this week. i'm looking for tripe - raw. it is green and stinks...and i can't find it anywhere. i'm thinking farmer's market might work. Or i might try contacting a farm that does their own slaughter.
        btw, it is for my dog, not me.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ihatepickyeaters

          I know the tripe I always see at the grocery store is beef. It's also white and honeycombed. In all my time I've never seen the green version available. As some added info I pulled this from the net, regarding green tripe.

          Green tripe is the organ as it comes out of the animal and needs to have the contents removed and thoroughly cleaned. It is typically greenish brown or gray in color and you aren't likely to find it in the US since the USDA requires that tripe be cleaned before it can be sold to consumers.

          Which (I know we live in Canada), might help to explain why I've never seen it out and about. A farmer might be your best bet.

        2. When I visited Ben's Meats&Deli, I saw half a cow hanging in his cooler. Whoever sold him the side, for sure has the innerts as well.
          Might be a good start.

          6 Replies
          1. re: worldwidestuff

            I would also check out Buffalo Valley Variety meats, he is a butcher and might be able to bring in various bits and pieces.

            for the tripe for your can get it canned at the pet food store (Tailblazers for sure has it) either plain, or we have bought it mixed with salmon or duck I think was the other one. these guys also sell it frozen in chunks. you can buy them at various locations, I would call to find out where they have the tripe though. We tried to get the tripe from our farmer that we buy our cow from, but we were not allowed to purchase it. The only organs we could get were the usual, heart, kidney, liver. I guess b/c they are selling for human consumption they are more picky on what they sell??

            1. re: cleopatra999

              I was actually just at Buffalo Valley meats today picking up some llama, and I totally forgot about asking until I got home. I've been meaning to ask Blaine. I noticed a sign for fresh dog food there today, so maybe some tripe for your puppy there.

              1. re: raidar

                thanks everyone! the puppy thanks you too. he is 10 weeks old, cute, and tiring. He is on a raw diet. i saw the tripe at tailblazers...i was just hoping for something cheaper (or free)!

                1. re: ihatepickyeaters

                  We get our raw dog food from Blaine. Very pleased. We have tried lots of different brands. We asked him about tripe, unfortunately he cannot get the raw stuff. if you want stuff added to the raw that he is making he is cool with that though. we have brought in things like salmon oil, tripe and flax.

                  1. re: cleopatra999

                    we've totally hijacked this board. oops. sorry about that raidar.

                    1. re: ihatepickyeaters

                      No worries! The positive side is that it keeps the thread alive. I starting to think at this point, my desire to dine out on such delicacies is pretty slim.