Wednesday, November 15, 2006

S(k)ins of the flesh

In planning* our upcoming trip to Germany this weekend, my friend Jess and I have laid down a challenge to partake of a different kind of sausage every day leading up until Thanksgiving (when I'll help myself to the grandmother's Thanksgiving kielbasa. Not a euphemism). No stranger to German meats, having had a longstanding love affair with Landjäger, we look forward to truly celebrating being at the top of the food chain, and probably just a few drunken Hitler jokes.

*This challenge was, in fact, the only thing I planned. Shout outs to Jess and Lee for an anticipated four days of pointing my ass in the right direction and answering the question "Is this where they make the Hummels?" on a semidaily basis.

Don't judge a sausage by its casing.

Anyway, in anticipation of the broadening of our carnivorous horizons, I figured it's best to take stock of all of the animals and meats I've eaten thus far, so I know exactly how dominant I can feel.

Steak/beef- Tartare, rare, raw, Charred Beyond Recognition, stripped, hamburgered, filetted, fajitaed, Porterhoused, you name it. My hope is that some day the cow will actually be able to walk up to me and ask me which part I'd like to eat, Restaurant at the End of the Universe-style.

Buffalo- Tastes like beef. Also, weird to be eating your football team's mascot.

Elk- What a majestic animal. For me to digest.

Frog's Legs- Once you get past the Epcot-like novelty of eating something so French, I'm actually a big fan of these. What were we doing with our dead frogs anyway, barring a sudden plague? A practical use of a somewhat creepy animal.

Venison- In Northern NY, it's a rite of passage to hit a deer. Hell, I hit a baby deer, my dad hit a buck, and my mom a doe. Isn't that cute? Anyway, if you did manage to kill it and the car was still driveable, my friend Natalie's dad would take it to his garage and carve it up for you for $20 and 10 pounds of meat, so if you had insurance, it could turn out to be a sweet little deal. Little known fact: Venison makes a terrific jerky.

Chicken- Boorrrring, doesn't count. However, points for being highly deep-fryable.

Duck- It's like someone sat down and said "Hmm, I need something that tastes like chicken, only less plentiful and more expensive. Also, I'd like for it to continue to secrete after its death and contain so much gristle that I gag after every third mouthful."

Pupperoni- I'm not gonna pull the latchkey kid excuse here, unfortunately this had nothing to do with too much time on my hands, and everything to do with the fact that these dog treats both look and smell delicious. If you can get past the fact that they're most likely entirely composed of livestock offal, they don't taste half bad either.

Pork/bacon/ham/sausage- Gimmes. Though I once ate 50 of those Morningstar sausages in 4 days, which ranks only slightly below "getting my bachelor's" in terms of sources of self-pride.

Horse- Not straight up, but judging from the number of questionably processed foods I've eaten (hello, Slim Jims!), I'm going to guess there's been a hoof or two in there.

Lamb- Eh. Not a fan, but I don't begrudge anyone else the affection, unless it manifests itself in a more romantic display. And even then, sometimes these things just have to be done.

Tripe- Eating stomach was just a little too meta for me. Also, I took a bite of my napkin afterwards just to get the feeling of chewing this out of my mouth.

Haggis- There's something about packaging an animal in its own intestines that just appeals to me. I know the sheep didn't really have a say in it, but it seems thoughtful, nonetheless.

Shark- I know this is technically seafood, but since it eats red meat itself, I'm tossing it in here. The Mother was never much of a cook, in that the oven was seen as more of storage device than a functional unit, but on those blue moon nights that she actually put hand to anything but takeout menus...well, still not much of a cook. However, I do have a memory of her excitedly sitting my father and I down at the kitchen table one Sunday night, putting dinner in front of us, and having us "guess what it is" throughout the meal. I'm always up for these sorts of games, but as we quickly ran through the list of acceptable fleshes and were met only with mischievous headshakes, I started to worry that my mother had indeed cooked us human flesh. Eventually the truth came out, and Dad and I breathed a sense of relief, but I think the fear of committing a mortal sin might have tainted my memories of the actual taste.

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At November 15, 2006 4:17 PM, Anonymous Jessexy said...

I couldn't be prouder to be a part of the sausage challenge. Bring on the links.

At November 17, 2006 1:00 PM, Anonymous eric with chopsticks said...

buffalo indeed tasty.

i look fwd to a "we pretended we were jewish the entire time we were in germany" story.


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