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Dec 11, 2011 12:51 PM

Nose to Tail - every animal?

I was just having lunch and we were talking about the whole "Nose to Tail" resurgence (I know, hardly a new topic) - but then we got to thinking if EVERY animal could be (or maybe more aptly, "is" instead of "could be") used "nose to tail".

The animal that started the debate - frogs. We both like frog's legs but had never heard of or experienced anything else made with the rest of the frog.

Anyone know anything people do with the rest of the frog? Any other animals that come to mind that aren't used "nose to tail"?

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  1. There are chinese dishes that stir fry frog parts (aside from legs), and use the entire thing in soup.

    If one is creative enough, or desperate or frugal enough, just about any animal part can be prepped and eaten in some form or another.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Yes - whole frogs, chopped up and used in soups or stirfries. I've had three cup frog that was quite good too.

    2. The nose-to-tail idea lost a lot of appeal to me after watching Anthony Bourdain eat the "unwashed warthog rectum".

      To answer your question, what about the cephalopods (squid, cuttlefish, octopus)?

      8 Replies
      1. re: drongo

        What parts of a squid, cuttlefish or octopus aren't edible?

        And by the way, I love, just love!, cuttlefish noses.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Perhaps it's all edible. But do people eat the eyes, mouth, beaks and radula? I don't know.

          So you love (just love!) cuttlefish noses... in keeping with the nose-to-tail theme, what about the cuttlefish tails?

          (Or frog tails for that matter, lol.)

          1. re: drongo

            Well then, by those strictures of eating, no animal is completely edible. Nobody eats bones, they can be used in stock, but generally are not eaten. And... do squid have radula (lacking a tongue my guess is no...)?

            To the OP -- I don't think I would call eating every part of an animal a resurgence. This is the way the most animals are consumed around the world. Maybe renaissance would be a better term, at least, here in the US.

            1. re: mateo21

              Some fishes are consumed whole including bones. For example anchovies or sardines breaded and deep fried in Greek places, or in Singapore and Malaysia where smaller anchovies/ikan bilis fried with peanuts and chilli. In certain Japanese places, fish bones are eaten -- after being dried and fried. I remember a Japanese chef encouraging me to eat the bones from steamed string-ray. Related are prawns, e.g. ama-ebi, tails served as nigiri sushi while the heads are deep fried.

              1. re: limster

                Also, chapulines aka grasshoppers/crickets are eaten whole e.g. oaxacan cooking.

        2. re: drongo

          Yes, I hear you on the warthog rectum. As "illogical" as this may be, I don't really want to eat that - grind it up and put it in a hotdog . . . maybe . . . but just straight out - pass. I feel the same way about chitterlings - I've had them, I've tried them a few times - I don't like them but you can't argue that they persist and people do regularly make and enjoy them.

          And I think your point in conjunction with ipsedixit's point I was kind of trying to by-pass. Yes, given the need any part of an animal CAN be cooked and made edible, that doesn't necessarily mean it is worth eating (I know a perspective of the "haves" instead of the "have nots" but that is where my head was when posting.

          Octopus in particular is another interesting animal. When small I've eaten the whole thing often. However, when they get large you almost always only see the "legs". Do people do something with the large octopus "heads" in those instances? (Again it is a nuanced question - I get that . . . )

          1. re: thimes

            I suspect those large bits get to be part of commercial takoyaki.

            1. re: thimes

              I eat the head & eyes on top of the legs. Everything but the beak. However, I wonder if one can deep fry hard parts such as octopus/squid beaks * squid quill (?).

          2. What about scallops? Anyone do anything with the rest of the scallop? We eat all other bivalve bodies, why not the scallop?

            4 Replies
            1. re: thimes

              I'll eat a whole bay scallops if I can find them. Sea scallops definitely have too much bitter waste in them to eat whole.

              1. re: thimes

                Same deal with oysters. We even eat the shells (Oscal and other calcium products)

                1. re: SonyBob

                  According to the Oscal website, they dredge dead/inactive oyster beds for shells, and aren't collecting discarded shells from fresh harvests. Shells from fresh harvests shells are frequently used to build new oyster reefs, and are sometimes used as road bed and driveway material in coastal areas. In fact, in North Carolina it is illegal to send oyster shells to landfills because they are needed for oyster reef development..

                2. re: thimes

                  You can eat the whole scallop - I've had it in Japanese restaurants before.

                  1. re: fourunder

                    I never thought about butchering an ostrich - how much is actually used? I would assume you could use the same parts that you'd use from a chicken, I'm just not sure there is a market for all of it (not having bought a lot of ostrich).

                    Does some of it go to "dog food" type things as well as human consumption?

                  2. I suppose guinea pigs are safe.