Why do people eat brains, intestines, sweetbreads, and other animal bits that some wouldn’t even consider food? For huaqiao it’s all about variety: “I would get so bored if all I ate were lean cuts of meat all the time,” he says.

Taste counts, too. “People eat offal because they include the tastiest bits—some that require more skill in cooking than salting and grilling a piece of ‘normal’ meat,” says Sam Fujisaka. “It is really only Americans with their general lack of cooking skills and super low ‘eeeuu’ threshold who don’t eat the good bits, who don’t keep their ‘leftovers,’ and who throw out food on any excuse.”

JungMann genuinely loves the taste of offal, but often the appeal is more textural. “Brains and sweetbreads are deliciously creamy and, when prepared correctly, you can get a wonderful crust hiding a surprisingly buttery center,” he says. “Blood has something hearty about it that I really love.”

“Personally, I like the texture,” says janethepain. “Chewy, springy, cartilage-y, that’s my thing.” She orders organ meats like sweetbreads when she sees them on menus because “I think there’s more chance of or potential to make a knockout, ‘whoaa’ dish with these kind of items than something normal and well, commonplace.”

Board Link: This Food Is Offal!

See more articles