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Aug 26, 2013 06:40 PM

Bizarre Foods America--St Louis

Anyone else watching? I think he's going to manage hitting darned near everything in one way or another. And who knew my favorite St Louis sandwich was made from head cheese?

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  1. I enjoyed it and thought it was a pretty good representation of St Louis. I do wish there were still places to get cow brain sandwiches but alas those mad cows had to ruin it.
    I still can't figure out where this idea came from that St Louis is known for its snoots. I have yet to meet anyone that has had snoots or even heard of them in St Louis yet this is about the fourth food show that has mentioned them in conjunction with St Louis. That said Smoki O's is on my list for snoots.

    1 Reply
    1. re: STLLifer

      My dad grew up in North St. Louis many moons ago and would take us back as kids in the 70s and 80s to some real hole-in-the-wall, storefront BBQ spots for snoot sandwiches. And brain sandwiches were all over the place in South St. Louis in corner bars.

    2. Ferguson's on the South side in the state streets still serves brain sandwiches, but you have to call a day or two ahead

      1 Reply
      1. re: hill food

        Hill, are they calves brain or pork brain sandwiches? The show featured Shottzies with a pork brain sandwich but made it sound like the laws prevented calves brain sandwiches from be sold in the US.

      2. Snoots are more out of the African-American tradition than the South St. Louis German-ness or our Italian things, so they didn't show up as much. I think of them as north St. Louis. when Jeffrey Steingarten, the food writer, came to St. Louis the first time, snoots were what he was seeking.

        5 Replies
        1. re: lemons

          lemons - I'm a North County boy with no issues (ok a few but unrelated - oh I have issues...) so I considered making a similar comment. but it's difficult to explain STL to outsiders without sounding like a raging jerk when one is simply explaining how it works as flawed as it is.

          I have a hunch there is a cross-cultural mash-up of the Germans and the African-Americans and now the Central Americans hovering somewhere in the realm of Chicharrones/Snoots

          ever read Elaine Viets?

          1. re: hill food

            I figured it was cultural/racial food item but I've never been one to be hesitant to cross those divides. That is the main reason why I've been confused how all of these people outside of St Louis were aware of snoots in STL and I wasn't. Take St Pauli sandwiches as an example. Most long time St Louisians are familiar with these yet you don't see repeated references to them being a unique STL item on national food shows.

            1. re: hill food

              DH worked w/ Viets until she ran away to FL. I thought chiccharones were just pig fat usually w/ skin, not snoots, or if we are being proper, snouts. But I think pig feet are the true crossroads of old South St. Louis and the African American eating experience.

              1. re: lemons

                ChicharrĂ³n can be made from any part of the skin of the pig, including the snouts, face... and even the nether regions. Here in Spain you can eat snouts (morro) fried as a tapa and it's very pork-rind like.

                I thought brains were always beef. Head cheese is another thing you could find a lot at St. Louis delis when I was a kid (also tongue). Loved that stuff. And brauschweiger, which isn't a St. Louis thing, per se, but I have never met anyone else from other parts of the US who ate it as much as we did as kids. (And we weren't at all German, instead North St. Louis Jewish and Dogtown Irish).

                1. re: lemons

                  lemons - she had a big passage in one of her books about going to Smoki-O's for snoots (I forget which book)

                  STLifer - I don't know, I called one day right before lunch and got the bad news they couldn't that day (frozen) I do know I've only seen pork and lamb in stores so I'd guess it's not calf

            2. I was really glad that the Bosnian food got so much attention. I only ever got to have burek before I moved away but it was incredible.