I have a confession to make: I am an offal lover. I know, it sounds disappointing; but alas, I am what I am. Offal is the noun associated with the internal (and some external) organs of various mammals and sea dwellers. These include brains, ears, eyes, snouts (noses), thymus glands (sweetbreads), heart, kidneys, liver, intestines (chitterlings, tripas de leche), stomach (tripe, maws, buches), testicles and feet (trotters) among others.
I know that the above may gross some of you out. But, when I see any of the above on a menu, I have a hard time passing them up, even when fine dining. If sweetbreads are on the menu at Marche Moderne or Pascal, they usually will end up at my table. If there are multiple items, I may request a chef’s tasting menu to include some or all. Likewise, some good tacos de tripas or a burrito de cabeza will virtually always quench my penchant. Please do not misunderstand; my food palate is highly eclectic. I enjoy an extraordinarily wide variety of foodstuffs from land, sea, sky and anywhere in between.
A short list of the world’s regional offal compilations that I truly savor include: boudin (white, red) and hog’s head cheese from Louisiana; blood sausage (soon dae from Korea, morcilla from Mexico and Spain); menudo; feijoada; chorizo; ponce and chaudin from Louisiana (haggis from Scotland); pate and foie gras and many many more.
I’m interested in how many other ‘hounds share this particular, if not peculiar, offal affliction.
I’d also like to hear of your favorite venues serving up something wonderfully offal.