How fortunate for me then to move to Europe where everywhere, except England, there exist such rich culinary traditions. There are so many countries and cultures packed into such a little space here that you never have to wander far to find something excellent to cram in your face.
It’s not all brats and bunnies though. There are certain foods that have no business near the taste buds of a sentient creature. Foods that I would still glare at with revulsion if they were the only edible thing with me on a desert island.
“Oh, you mean it’s filled with really raw meat?”
“No meat. Just blood.”
This is actually pretty common throughout Europe. The French and English call it black pudding (boudin noir in French); the Germans cut the crap and call it blood sausage (blutwurst).
This is one of those things that is a holdover from a tradition of ‘efficient butchery’, and I can’t imagine anyone actually enjoying something that is made entirely of blood and things to soak up the blood (bread, grains).
Also a remnant of the ‘efficient butchery’ tradition, the andouillette remains so popular that there is actually an active fan club in its name, who charge themselves with the rating of local restaurants based on the quality of their andouillette.
Which I find a bit strange since this sausage is pretty similar to the blutwurst. But instead of blood, they’ve used the stomach lining, which makes this a distant cousin of the Mexican dish menudo; menudo gets honorable mention on this list for being a disgusting dish of stomach lining soup and worse, for being a boy band with Ricky Martin.
The Scots have found an answer to the question of how you create a dish more disgusting than andouillette.
Deciding that a dish made of just the stomach was simply not sufficient, they decided to create a dish where you take most of a sheep’s organs, and stuff them into another of the sheep’s organs. Specifically, the heart, liver, and lungs get yanked out, jammed into the stomach, then simmered for three hours.
Not surprisingly, it is traditionally served with whiskey.
Whoever created this dish decided that all this messing around with organs was for pansies – to make a real dish you have do use a whole damned extremity. And that’s what he did.
If you know a little French, you already know that extremity is the HEAD of a veal calf. Evidently, “the butchers will have cut the head in two and then rolled it round a calf’s tongue…” and then I don’t know because I stopped reading.
Proving that this list is ultimately subjective and what is or is not disgusting depends a lot on what you grew up with is the classic American hot dog.
This one tops the list, delicious as it is, because at least with the last four, we knew WHICH organs were in them.