Michelle over at Bleeding Espresso “confesses”:
Do you know the television show Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern? We love it, and I may or may not have a secret crush on the host.
This confirms a thought bubble that had dropped in on me unannounced a few times as a youth losing his hair: You can’t just depend upon baldness to make you desirable, you have to have one other distinguishing characteristic.
Like you eat fried hamsters on television, for one.
I have to confess I’ve eaten Sardinian Maggot Cheese, pecorino con vermini, on countless occasions. Not to mention the other things Americans think of as odd foods because the animal is cute, or jumps for a living, like rabbit or frog for example.
I’m not sure why a considerable percentage of the population will only consider ugly animals as good to eat. It sure wasn’t drilled into my head. Then again, not a whole lot of useful information has remained there over the years either.
But I digress. Here’s the thing: Michelle gives us a list of Calabrian dishes that you probably don’t get at your local eatery. This is great stuff. The first on the list is:
u suzzu: random pig parts (tongue, lungs, heart, stomach, etc.) in gelatin with peperoncino and vinegar. I like my gelatin in Jell-O thankyouverymuch.
I learned in the fifth grade that gelatin was (back then at least) made with ground up horses hooves. Mr. Schmidt wouldn’t lie to us, I’m sure. Why would a ton of sugar mixed with some ground up horses hooves be though of as comfort food when the tongue of a pig is revolting to the standard sensibilities of a proud and noble people is beyond me.
I mean, think of how the pig feels. He can’t convey his pathos, of course, because Calabrians are eating pig tongues like they’re going out of style…
(And if you haven’t had the stuffed pigs feet at Au Pied a Cochon in Paris, you haven’t lived.)
In any case, I now have the urge to go to Calabria and taste all these things on Michelle’s Calabrian Food List
Maybe in the fall. You coming?
Footnote: Here’s an idea for foods you might not think you like: cover them with every kind of pepper you can think off, especially the hot ones: Pampanella. Actually, the pictures make this Molise dish look quite scrumptious. I want some.