5 Things Never To Put In Your Mouth

It has been said that I am a man who likes food. This is completely true. I like food and I like it a lot. I like food so much I feel like I would die without it.

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.

For example…

BLUTWURSTS

“Say, that’s an interesting looking sausage you’re eating! What’s in it?”

“Blood.”

“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).


ANDOUILLETTE

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.


HAGGIS

The Scots have found an answer to the question of how you create a dish more disgusting than andouillette.

Their answer?
MORE ORGANS!!

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.


TÊTE DE VEAU

You have to go pretty far to outdo three organs cooked inside another organ. And this favorite of previous French president Jacques Chirac is what we get when someone goes that far: tête de veau.

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.


HOT DOGS

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.

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6 thoughts on “5 Things Never To Put In Your Mouth

  1. Good one. Here we have dinuguan (literally “bloodied”), which is blood soup. No “Mmm Mmm Good,” here. Soup! They don’t even mess with trying to solidify it. It tastes like enchilada sauce but with a long-lasting aftertaste that makes your tongue feel fuzzy. Hard to describe. Pretty big on the organs here, although I think that Veal Head takes the cake. In fact, I think I’ll just take the cake, please…

  2. Well, normally I would argue that French food is amazing, but even I agree blutwurts, andouillette, haggis and tête de veau are kind of gross…. what about the good stuff? Any favorites you’ve discovered?

  3. I ALMOST tried Haggis at the Scottish Irish Festival in Estes Park a few years ago. My friend Josh loves it. Since I had not had anything to drink that day, I kept my wits about me and turned down the opportunity. SO thankful for that! I too would like to know what new foods you have discovered and love.

    P.S. I like all beef hotdogs only, and no, I don’t want to know what’s in them, thank you very much. 🙂

    • Someday, I will try haggis. Maybe. Possibly. If I’m smashed.

      Anyway, there will be a blog post coming up about the best things I’ve found to eat here.

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