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I hate organ meat

There I said it. I love to cook and I like to try different foods, but can't stomach organ meat. When in Palermo Italy we did a market tour and cooking class. Part of the tour was a taste of some odd little fatty bits in a box from under a towel.Very sketchy. A piece of wax paper was put in your hand. The mans hand dove under the towel and out came a handful of fat, meat and ??? something else. Apparently it's rendered off of the bones after the butcher has done with them. It tasted alright, but it's texture was off putting, yet I was still able to finish what I was given. Next we had a lung and spleen sandwhich with a local cheese (bad of me, but can't remember the name) I was game and took a big bite...chewed once, twice and the nasty flavor flooded my mouth and my throat closed. I had to ask, with a mouthful of food, if they would be offended if I spit it out? Our guide released me and I jettisoned the nasty bits. Bourdain would have kicked my ass.

I'm sorry I don't like the taste. I like the idea of nose to tail, at least the part that doesn't waste any of the animal. I am considering raising a couple of pigs. I really don't want to waste any of it. Guess I'll need to find someone that will take what I can't stomach.

Is there anyone out there that hated organ meat that found a way to embrace it?


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    1. re: Tripeler

      Which is pretty funny, given your site name! I assumed you're a serious tripe lover.

        1. re: linguafood

          Not exactly - that's Tripel. There's also German Trippelbock. That may be where Tripeler took his name form but it always made me think of tripe.

          1. re: BobB

            Aha! No wonder I got that wrong. Belgian beer is not my forte, nor my pleasure. German beer pretty much all the way - save for Trippelbock. Doppelbock is enough for me, and not a favorite either.

        2. re: BobB

          Can't stand tripe. The name is after Tripel, my favorite style of Belgian beer.

        3. re: Tripeler

          Are you saying that you haven't been to any of the motsu or horumon places in Japan? I really like the many places that specialize in offal dishes in Japan, not only because of the way they're prepared, but because it doesn't taste like the bitter, iodine-y versions I've had in the US. It might have to do with the way wagyu cattle are raised in Japan that affects how the offal meats taste, but if you're willing to give it another try, I would say you're in the right place to get some really good tasting offal meat.

          1. re: E Eto

            Believe me, I have tried several times.
            Just don't like it.

        4. The term 'organ meat' is so general, don't you think? I've had beef heart that could simply pass for beef. Are you talking about liver? Sweetbreads (the thymus gland)? Brains? I'm sure you mean 'kidney', but what about intestine or chicken gizzard? Tripe? Tongue? How about pig snout, ears, or feet?

          I grew up in a household that ate beef something like 7 nights a week. Monday night was steak, Tuesday was meatballs, Wednesday was brisket, Thursday was veal cultlets, Friday was swiss steak (don't ask), Saturday was meatloaf, and Sunday was chicken hash.

          I now eat almost all animal parts, mostly at hole-in-the-wall exotic places. I have consistently had good slabs of tongue at Bolivian restuarants, and some really good tripe and tendon in Sichuan, and Italian places, and various other parts I've liked upon occasion.

          If someone boiled up some intestines I'm pretty sure it would be unappealing to me, but to have them flavor a stew? Now that could be interesting....

          2 Replies
          1. re: Steve

            Heart, liver, kidney, brain, spleen, lung, intestine. For the most part it is internal organs.

            I have had and enjoyed tongue. Cheeks are not internal organs and I've never had sweet bread (pancreas?)

            Maybe it's preperation?


            1. re: JuniorBalloon

              Liver is beloved by many (including me). Most people interested in food know about and like French paté, so I think liver is acceptable in some form even to people who have food fears.

              Heart should not be much of a major taste problem for anyone as it is not all that far from beef. I don't know many people who eat tripe plain, but cooked with a sauce can be great. Intestines and many other parts can be great for flavoring and texture, but again are not too exciting plain. I have definitely talked with people who grew up eating intestines and crave them (no question of economic necessity).

              Can't say I've ever eaten or seen on a menu a nice plate of steamed spleen.

              Had a really good plate of gizzards at a Sichuan restaurant recently.

              I would say from my experience that even people who say they don't like organ meats can find some love depending on their willingness and faced with a preparation in which the meat is used as a flavoring agent rather than the featured ingredient.

              As hillfood implies below, anyone who eats sausage may already be enjoying organ meat without realizing it.

              Lastly, there is strength in numbers. I get together regularly with other Chowhounds for group meals. When twelve adventurous people get together, it's easier to explore organ meats and find something you like.

          2. I can't eat any of it either. And I have tried. Not everything, but enough.

            1. I'm an unabashed organ meat eater. I think that there's almost nothing tastier than well prepared veal sweetbreads or beef tongue. Beef cheeks are delicious as well. I got my husband to enjoy beef tongue when I cooked it in a sweet tomato sauce and, in his words, it was "unidentifiable" as tongue (by sight, I mean - he loved the taste and texture, just couldn't handle seeing the tongue on his plate)

              1. No it's disgusting! For me it often both the taste and the texture that bother me. I have tried it many times since I grew up with a dad who loved all things organ. I have decided that life is just too short to eat anything that you don't like. For those who do enjoy it, more power to you, you can have my share!

                1. Organ meat is not for everyone.

                  There is no rule (either here in Chowhound land or in Bourdain world) that says you *must* like organ meat.

                  If you don't find the taste and/or texture pleasing, don't eat it and move on to things you enjoy eating.

                  Because, after all, isn't that what life is all about? Enjoying food you actually like eating? Life's too short to do anything otherwise.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Yeah, if you don't like it you don't like it. Nothing to worry about. But before you rule out all organ meats, try chicken hearts and beef tongue. Chicken hearts taste like a chewier, richer version of the thigh, and beef tongue has a really concentrated mineral beef flavor that is irreplacable.

                    1. re: RealMenJulienne

                      Those are the two I have the hardest time with. Well, most liver, except for foie gras, and even that in small doses. I can do pate, where the flavor is enhanced by lots and lots of butter. And tongue—let's just say I keep trying.

                      On the other hand, heart, sweetbreads, brain, kidney, testicles—love all those.

                      1. re: tatamagouche

                        I haven't yet tried sweetbreads, brain, kidney, and testicles. They're on my list.

                        I'm with you on liver. At a cafe in Cape Town I ordered a dish of chicken livers in peri-peri sauce... what a study in contrasts. The best sauce I've ever had - spicy, complex, and creamy - covering nuggets of chalky ammonia paste. The livers ended up in the trash and I enjoyed the sauce with some bread instead.

                    2. re: ipsedixit

                      No problem here. I am happy eating ribs and chops. Part of my post was, dare I say, tongue in cheek. I do wonder if it's a preperation thing. I see Eric Ripert and TB eating kidneys in a sidewalk cafe in Paris and I think those look tasty, maybe I'd like them cooked that way. Or maybe I'd just like to be in Paris in that cafe.

                      It could also be childhood trauma. My mother loves organ meat. She used to bring home split lambs head, bake them in the oven and eat it eye ball and all. That eye staring back at me kept me awake at night. Despite her efforts I have never acquired a taste for it.


                      1. re: JuniorBalloon

                        I see Eric Ripert and TB eating kidneys in a sidewalk cafe in Paris and I think those look tasty, maybe I'd like them cooked that way. Or maybe I'd just like to be in Paris in that cafe.

                        I feel the same way. I just watched a No Reservations show from Paris and I thought to myself "I would totally order that dish" if I was at that cafe. The visual was appealling, the description sounded tasty, etc. But I wonder if I would actually order it? Probably not but I definately would try a bite off of someone's plate.

                        1. re: cleobeach

                          A menu sampling of restaurants in France and Italy will find plenty of animal parts, from low to high end restaurants. Lots and lots of tripe, sweetbreads, kidney, liver, and brains. In Italy you won't see much chicken, and in France "no roast beef for you!"

                    3. if you decide to raise critters, invest in a grinder and some sausage recipes (I recommend natural casings) some spices and you can put just about anything in that won't cut up into chops, roasts or steaks.

                      I like sweetbreads, kidneys and so on but yes they can be gamy and require a little more care (and butter and garlic and...)

                      even the gamiest (sorry) eater usually likes it best in a treatment of such. heck even brains (very mellow flavor) are washed, membrane removed and either breaded and fried or stewed.

                      as ipsedixit pointed out, it's just not for everyone. but as sausage with the right process and spices, you'll never really know except for the satisfaction that you didn't waste a part.

                      but those parts are higher in cholesterol.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: hill food

                        Another adventurous eater here and I don't like organ or "junk" meat either. Mostly due to the texture.

                        Tongue and heart (especially pickled deer heart) were common items in my childhood and I would eat it now if served but I wouldn't cross the street for it.

                        I occasionally ate kidneys and liver until college when my bio professor completely turned me off of both. I will eat filled pig stomach but just the interior stuffing, not the actual stomach, I don't like the taste or the texture.

                        Ground up in sausage? No problem for me because everything is ground up and nicely flavored.

                        My German father adores all organ meats and bemoans the lack of it in the typical American diet.

                        My raised-on-the-farm grandparents considered organ meat to be "depression-era/poor" food and eliminated it from their table as soon as their bank accounts allowed.

                        1. re: cleobeach

                          Textures are usually what get me too. In some cases flavors, sure, but most of the offal type stuff that I don't like has to do with texture.

                        2. re: hill food

                          Sausage and salami. Yum. I am working on a project to make a curing chamber out of an old fridge. I hadn't planned on putting any organ meat in my salami, but I'll deffinitely consider it.


                          1. re: JuniorBalloon

                            Brazil serves the best liver and stomach dishes, Argentina has the best sweetbreads and France makes the most delicious, melt-in-your-mouth beef thong! I would not eat the lungs, but I can not wait to have brain! SALIVATING as I type!

                            1. re: LPGourmet

                              Beef Thong? That's an organ I'd like to try... lol!

                              1. re: joonjoon

                                yeah, isn't that something that covers an organ?

                                but seriously LPG, I'm unfamiliar with this term, which part does it refer to?

                        3. Every "organ meat" has a distinct taste and texture. There may be stuff out there you like!

                          1. Agree with others that "organ meat" encompasses so many different tastes and textures that it's hard to generalize. For starters, if you enjoy steak you'll probably go for internal organs that are made of muscle tissue - certainly the diaphragm (aka skirt steak), and most likely the heart.

                            As far as texture goes, some organs are soft and creamy (brains), some are chewy (intestines) and some are crunchy (book tripe). Some have a very mild flavor (sweetbreads) while others are much more assertive (kidneys). So unless you just don't like the **idea** of eating organ meats, there are probably some that you'll enjoy.

                            That's not to say you'll like all of them, though. And starting with lung and spleen is no way to ease yourself into the wonderful world of offal. Maybe someday I'll find a spleen preparation that doesn't make me want to gag. Or maybe not.

                            But most folks enjoy pate. Sweetbreads are fairly accessible, too. And tongue is very tasty. Cuts from the digestive tract may take a little getting used to, so it's probably best to start with dishes that have other intensely-flavored ingredients - a bowl of pho with a variety of meats including a bit of tripe, or a taco filled with tripitas, onions, and cilantro.

                            You never know what you'll end up enjoying when you eat adventurously. My younger daughter always refused to eat chicken feet when we went out for dim sum because they looked weird. Then she went on a school field trip where they ate lunch at a cart place and got the feet just to shock her classmates. She ended up really liking them. Good for her, bad for me - now I don't get the extra "phoenix claw" when we order them.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: alanbarnes

                              It's funny, before reading this thread I never would have considered the diaphragm or the tongue to be 'organ meat', but clearly a lot of people do.

                              1. re: jgg13

                                I deliberately chose the diaphragm to be provocative. There's no doubt it's an internal organ, separating the thorax from the abdominal cavity. But the butcher doesn't tell you this, and people who claim to hate "organ meat" eat it all the time.

                                "Organ meat" is an inherently ambiguous term. A rib roast comes from the muscular organ system, after all. So I prefer "offal" (or the euphemistic "variety meat"). Not that the lines are any clearer, but at least the name doesn't imply that they are.

                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                  I prefer offal as well, for the same reasons and with the same drawbacks that you state.

                              2. I was a picky eater as a kid, and I'm glad to say my repertoire has expanded exponentially. However, I know without question that I will never eat organ meats (or tongue or cheeks or tendons). I just can't wrap my brain around it. I love good food, but that's where certain lines get drawn for me. I have friends from many cultures, so I've had the opportunity to try a lot of stuff that you're not going to find on the menu at TGI Fridays, but I. Just. Can't. Go. There.

                                I suspect it's got something to do when I was a kid, and my father was raising hound dogs. When they were pregnant he would buy them organ meats under the belief that they had more nutrients than dog food or other cuts of meat. So it wasn't at all unusual for me to wander down at 6 am to find a slab of raw liver that had been defrosting overnight sitting in the sink. Soooo not a nice wakeup call:)

                                1. how nice that we live in a society affluent enough to even think such things

                                  4 Replies
                                    1. re: thew

                                      Granted, that's true about 99% of threads. Good to have a reminder of how we lucky we are every once in a while.

                                      1. re: thew

                                        YUP! After surviving on c-rations, life has been an epiphany. We are so , maybe even too, lucky!
                                        Every Thanksgiving, I give thanks I'm not in Nam and for all my buddies who would feel awfully lucky to eat offal, if they only could.

                                        1. re: thew

                                          it IS important to take a step back and reflect on things like this, that we have the luxury of choice to reject or embrace such items.

                                        2. I have tried all of the things I listed except intestine. Liver and onions smell so good cooking and then the taste is such a disappointment. I have had liver pate's that were very good. Heart has a flavor that is not so bad at first, but builds until it becomes overwhelming and unenjoyable. I have a smilar reaction to lamb. I can only eat a few bites before I get nauseated. I don't think this is soley due to mental hang ups. I'm willing to try stuff. So far I just don't like much of it.

                                          Yes thew, it is fortuante for me that I live in a country where I can let you eat all of my offal. :o)



                                          1. I like to try many different things, but I don't like organ meat. I generally eat what I like and not what I think I should like. I have had sweetbreads that I didn't hate, but I dislike all things liverish. I don't like gamey meats or lamb, either, because I think they taste like liver, so maybe if there are organs that don't taste liverish I'd like them. I just don't know if I could sit down and actually try kidney pie or tripe. I think I'd be willing to try beef tongue, although I'm not sure about tasting something that can taste you back!

                                            Of course, I also dislike goat cheese, which is another foodie favorite.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Shann

                                              Yet you have no problem eating a ham that can kick you!

                                            2. I don't automatically hate offal, but don't like an awful lot of it.

                                              Dislikes? Brains & sweetbreads - find appearance & texture disturbing. Beef & calves liver - ALWAYS disliked the flavor of these.

                                              Likes? Tripe - my grandmother made the most awsomely delicious tripe soup; I could never get enough of it. Chicken livers - something else my grandmother made that has me making them myself when I have a craving - simply sauteed in an obscene amount of butter along with caraway seeds & fresh lemon juice. Grandma served them with frilly toothpicks as an appetizer; I like them on their own as a meal, sometimes over rice. Beef & lamb kidneys - I don't mind these, but they're not a favorite. Pork liver - absolutely delicious when stuffed Italian-style.

                                              As far as embracing something you don't like? While I seriously dislike beef/calves liver done in it's usual way (sauteed with bacon &/or onions), one time my mom made it in a cream/wine/mushroom sauce & it was wonderful. I ate every bit. But I still wouldn't bother to make it myself - lol!

                                              1. Business took me regularly to San Francisco, and I ate at Delfina almost monthly for years. They served one of the cow stomachs one night, and I thought, if I'm gonna eat it anywhere I'm more likely to enjoy it here. And I did.

                                                The local Chinese buffet has "Spicy Beef Trip" on the dim sum bar and I dare not lift the lid of the bamboo basket.

                                                1. And waddya think of piano meat? I fear chemical processing, not the cut of meat; better to be offal than an artificial person.

                                                  1. I always liked chicken livers but loathed beef liver. I had little other organ experience until I reached dating age. Foie gras is ambrosia. A friend from Uruguay turned me on to sweetbreads, (mollejas there )seasoned and smoked over mesquite, finished in a hot pan for a little crisp, topped with home made chimichurri. Amazing taste, easy texture, and I prepare them frequently. I live sometimes in Mexico, and menudo or sopa de tripa is often the daily comida, and quite tasty.
                                                    If you can let your brain give these items a fair chance, that is the hurdle. And if you learn to like some, as I did after many years, the additional benefit is that they are fairly inexpensive.
                                                    Except bull testicles, which are $10 / lb at my latin market. 3 to a pack. Go figure.

                                                    13 Replies
                                                      1. re: Heatherb

                                                        Have you ever SEEN a bull?

                                                        I'm surprised they get 3 of them in a package!

                                                        1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                          and considering most "packages" only carry 2...

                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                            LOL! Point taken. I was thinking quality, not quantity.

                                                            1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                              I think I should have left my last line out.....

                                                              1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                but seriously when I had a roommate in college from Southern KS, he brought back a ziploc bag after a weekend of steer-making and they really were no larger than goose eggs (but these were calves).

                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                  Trust me.

                                                                  Bulls are different.

                                                                  The neighbor's bull got out once and I was having to follow it down the road. Hereford Bull. Big sucker. I didn't realize it was a bull at first. I kept wondering what was wrong with it's udder . . .


                                                                  1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                    Your neighbor's pickup might be sporting a realistic imitation pair. :)

                                                                    The ones that I prepared (once, from an hispanic oriented grocery) were about the size of large plum tomatoes. Removing the outer membrane is tedious. The texture is on the soft side (though not as soft as brains). I don't recall the flavor. I don't plan on buying them again.

                                                                    1. re: paulj


                                                                      Average circumference when still installed on the bull is greater than 13". The bull in question was not an average bull. O.O

                                                                      I'm sure they're smaller when they're, errrrr, "cleaned".

                                                                      What you got at the hispanic grocery were probably the result of turning bull calves into steer, which is usually done by the age of 3 months. The organs in question are much smaller then.

                                                                      Think about it - steer don't have them anymore, and bulls are not slaughtered for market in any great number; so most (if not all) of the Rocky Mountain Oysters you see on the market come from castrating calves.

                                                                      1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                        The only preparation of "Full grown" Bull's testicles I have had is when they are sliced about 1/4 inch thick battered and fried. In appearance they resemble thick potato chips. Lamb fries, about the size of marbles, I have had whole, prepared several ways.

                                                                        1. re: ospreycove

                                                                          During the course of driving across country with my father for his 70th birthday in early June 1994 (we were in Yellowstone for his birthday - Old Faithful and all that), I remember seeing the large billboard near I-90 in western Montana for the Rocky Mountain Testicle Festival: Come Have A Ball! With a sore *steer* for the image - if it had been that day and we could do it quickly, we'd certainly have been game for the organ meat. It's these kind of things where you can be sure organ meats are not sitting around too long and are being treated by people who know how to do them up right. Part of the problem now is that organ meats in the US aren't sold in high volume and so market quality is not assured and people have lost the assured knowledge that comes from a continuous tradition of use.

                                                        2. re: Veggo

                                                          Thanks for including the "mountain oysters" on your list. How does the Uruguayan sweetbread dish differ from the French?

                                                          1. re: mucho gordo

                                                            I don't know the french version, but I'm guessing it has a fancy sauce and not chimichurri?

                                                        3. When I roast a whole chicken, I throw the neck, heart, liver etc from the giblet bag into the roasting pan with the veggies. They cook first and are my treat to eat while I'm waiting for the rest of the bird to finish cooking. Mm mm.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: pdxgastro

                                                            PDX......Hey, that is my treat too!!!......THanksgiving is around the corner..........

                                                            1. re: ospreycove

                                                              There can only be one of us in each household. ;-) Happy Thanksgiving and roasted giblets to you!

                                                              1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                otherwise T-day turns into a really sad episode of "Wild Kingdom"

                                                          2. there used to a place in chinatown that had "hot intestines and things" on the menu.

                                                            we used to laugh wondering what things were so nasty that the only one they could mention was intestines

                                                            1. Try it in lasagna.

                                                              * * *

                                                              As for liver, the most wonderful liver is not from the calf, but rabbit. If you get rabbit "with giblets" it usually means its liver. The rabbit liver is surprisingly large, and very delicate in flavor. It is very much underappreciated even by liver lovers in the US (Continental Europeans appear to appreciate it more). I can take or leave calf liver, love poultry livers, but rabbit liver is in a class of its own.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: Karl S

                                                                Mmm, yes! I had a great dish in Berlin last year of rabbit prepared three ways - roasted stuffed breast, seared leg, and sauteed liver. Fabulous!

                                                                But then, I am an enthusiastic offal eater, at least of most types, as is my wife. One of our favorite local restaurants has a "offal of the day" appetizer that we never pass up.

                                                                1. re: BobB

                                                                  OT. BobB - but .... care to share where in Berlin you had that rabbit dish? It sounds fantabulous!

                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                    At a restaurant you recommended to me - Renger-Patsch!

                                                                    1. re: BobB

                                                                      I almost guessed that! I can't tell you how happy it makes me to hear that this place continues to satisfy!

                                                              2. I have the same issues, and also refer to the heart, brain, lungs, kidneys, thymus, etc. as "organ meats." I don't think of connective tissue, bone marrow, skin, or any muscles (including tongue) in that category (though technically they may be). Liver has an instantly distinctive and repellant flavor to me, like hot clay and lead mixed with urine. My mom used to try to pass of liver to me as steak as a youngster, but I knew what it was from the horrible smell coming from the frying pan. One projectile vomit ceased those shenanigans.

                                                                I told a friend of mine about this aversion, and he claimed he could cook chicken livers that would actually change my mind. Since I'm always trying to push my food agenda on others, I agreed. He fried them in a cast iron pan in bacon fat, and we had them with some sherry. They were...tolerable. I have also had foie gras, but that doesn't really count in my book - there is no discernable "organ flavor" to it, it's like pure butter. Tripe doesn't bother me either, as it has no real flavor. I recently had some beef heart slices, and likewise, they just tasted like beef to me. What I'm hoping is that as my tastebuds die off, and the need for stronger sensory input becomes necessary to stave off culinary boredom, I'll turn to "organ meats" as a new world of discovery.

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: nsenada

                                                                  If I were a better writer I could have written this. :)


                                                                  1. re: nsenada

                                                                    Andrew Zimmern (Bizarre foods) often describes offal like liver as having an 'irony taste'.

                                                                    1. re: nsenada

                                                                      It's not your tastebuds but powers of smell that dramatically lessen as you get older. You get too congested. It's one reason a lot of newly elderly Baby Boomers are supposedly hittin' the hot sauce like there's no tomorrow.

                                                                      1. re: nsenada

                                                                        "like hot clay and lead mixed with urine."

                                                                        I'll eat just about anything, but yeah that about describes calf or beef liver to a 'T' for me.

                                                                      2. Another somewhat "organ" meat you don't see a lot of anymore is beef tongue - something else my parents cooked to perfection. Boy how I used to LOVE that!!! Once in a blue moon our local WalMart carries it because it's very popular with Hispanic shoppers, but my husband wouldn't eat it, so it wouldn't really be economical for me to do just for myself.

                                                                        A few years ago we had a small authentic Spanish/Mexican restaurant here that served it, & I was in heaven. But unfortunately it must not have sat well with the majority of the local populace, because the place didn't last long.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Breezychow

                                                                          I'm seeing tongue a lot more on American menus these days. It's related, I think, to the mutual trends of head-to-tail and Jewish deli revival.

                                                                        2. I haven't found a way to enjoy them either. In fact, Thanksgiving is a week from today and my mom will be serving giblet dressing *and* giblet gravy. Call me a wuss, but I look forward to that meal a little less knowing it will be somewhat organ-heavy. And yes, Bourdain would prolly kick my ass, too, if he somehow ever knew or cared.

                                                                          1. Not sure what the big deal is...if you don't like it, just don't eat it.
                                                                            More for me! :-)

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: The Professor

                                                                              That's the mainstream view, but there's something to be said for the evangelical approach...

                                                                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                  alan: sure you don't mean little 'c' catholic? as to the evangelic I for one try to refrain from proselytizing except someplace like here (I have been guilty of this trespass but hey don't like it spit it out, you tried)

                                                                              1. As others have said, this is just too broad a statement. "Organ meats" have every possible taste and texture under the sun. Plus I'm always surprised when people categorize non-organs as "organ meat."

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                  You're correct, & I'm definitely a culprit of that. Tend to pretty much lump all non-conventional non-muscle meat together - like tongue, whole calves heads, pig trotters, oxtails, etc. - in the same general category as organ meat, usually because most folks who don't care for offal don't seem to care much for that same group. But again - technically, you're correct.

                                                                                  1. re: Breezychow

                                                                                    Now, see, Breezychow, that's what I really don't get. How anyone could lump (!!!) oxtails with, say, chicken liver is just beyond me. Oxtails are little mini-chuck roasts :) It's just little bits of beef on bones. Same with beef cheeks. It's just beef. Not a darn thing to do with any organs. And once you actually get to organs, the difference between sweetbreads and chicken gizzards both texture and taste are completely different. BTW, I'm still working on chicken and calves liver myself. Odd, since I like other livers. But, hey, I'm only 63 so have plenty of time left.

                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                      I know what you mean. But think of it as parts of the animal that some people just have trouble wrapping their minds (& stomachs) around. Yes, it's true that they're not all organs, but even - as you noted - the true organ meats are different in taste & texture. The one common denominator is that they're parts of the animal that people find distasteful from a psychological viewpoint.

                                                                                      How are you trying chicken livers? As I know I already stated before, I love them (& have also enjoyed pork liver), but am afraid will never come truly to terms with calves liver. My favorite way with chicken livers is sauteed in an obscene amount of butter & a sprinkling of caraway seed until completely cooked through (no pink middles for me, thank you), then served with generous squeezes of fresh lemon juice & salt & pepper to taste. Served with toothpicks as appetizers, or served over rice as a meal.

                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                        find a Korean stir fry recipe for chicken livers.
                                                                                        I much prefer organ meat to organ music.
                                                                                        Sorry, JSB.

                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                          Bach will understand, but sadly have enough organ meat and you'll be hearing the music soon enough.

                                                                                  2. We had "faux gras" at Michel Richard's Central in DC today at lunch.


                                                                                    And a Chow-friend gave me this link for what purports to be the recipe:


                                                                                    I would defy ANYONE, except a vegetarian, to not just adore this, eat every morsel and weep that you're too full to eat any more. I don't want to say "it didn't taste like liver" but if blindfolded I'd be hard pressed to know what I was eating except for the texture. It was sublime. As I posted I would travel back from NoCal just to eat this - again and again. I'm going to search for the very best chicken livers and make this at home for sure. I encourage the minds that are closed to organ meats to open just a crack and allow this lusciousness to enter :)

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                      That recipe looks fantastic... I'll have to make it for a party soon!!

                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                        I've had trouble with chicken liver but had Alan Barnes' pate' almost a year ago and that started me down the road. I may just turn into a true believer. Report back --- if I don't first!

                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                          Michel Richard has published the recipe online, but I think he's not telling everything, I think Alice Q's comes closer, and I still say there's some cognac or sherry or port or something in there.

                                                                                          but yeah definitely a pig in $#$# wallow of indulgence. ("oh honey, the French you speaking today") a little goes a looong way.