Head Cheese

There aren’t very many things I’ve sworn I’d never eat. And even some of them (sushi, broccoli) I’ve acquired a taste for as an adult. Generally, the remaining items fall under the category of “variety meats.” I’m not averse to ears, lips and assholes, but they hafta be ground up so as to be unrecognizeable: sausage, bologna, hot dogs, etc. I even like liverwurst and goose liver pate. But tripe, chitterlings, giblets and the sort - take them away!

Last nite I picked up a premade supermarket deli sandwich labelled “salami” for a lite supper. It looked like your normal salami and cheddar sandwich on a french roll. As usual, I waited to eat it until I was ravenous, so I ripped open the cellophane and started inhaling. I realized right away that the flavor was a bit mild, but just figured it was an unidentified variety of salami. After a few bites I realized the texture wasn’t the sort I’d expect of salami: some parts tender, some parts fatty, some parts gristly.

That’s when I opened the bread and looked. Head cheese. Loathsome bits of pig face, lodged in a matrix of congealed fat, labeled edible by some.

What kind of sick bastard working behind the counter would put out a prepackaged head cheese sandwich without labeling it as such??

Needless to say, the rest of the sandwich went uneaten. I pride myself on not getting ill. I had to eat my girlfriend’s M&M’s for dinner.

It reminds me of the first time my Dad brought home some barbecued chinese duck. I picked out what looked like a meaty piece, and started nibbling. Then I turned it over…

Eeeewwww!! Memories of my grandfather. He used to love headcheese and one other tidbit named bloodpudding. I could not even be in the same room while he was eating that stuff. But when you think about it, they still make it, which means someone eats it. Eeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwww!!

But have you ever had Scrapple?

And yes, disgusting as it is, I think most variations are not too far from this…

Hmmm…that’s not the scrapple I’m familiar with. I thought it was more like polenta with “parts.” ((gasp)) At least that’s what I thought I was eating. Oh well, parts is parts. I just put maple syrup on it and a few fried eggs on the side. Good stuff.

Some deli working is laughing his fool ass off right now.

“Didjyu see that guy buy the headcheese sandwich I made?”

Just be glad he didn’t spit in it to.

Or did he.

Seinfeld did a little joke about this phenomena. It is part of his “I’m Telling You For the Last Time” stand-up special. I recommend it if you like Seinfeld.

“And that other one, headcheese, woooaaa. I don’t think so-oo. I’ve always felt the words head and cheese should never be that close together for any reason.” - from the track “Supermarkets”

Yeah, Jon. It’s probably the same bastard who I asked the week before, “why don’t you guys make those premade sandwiches anymore?”

Really, though, I shouldn’t have been suprised. Those sandwiches are obviously made from the leftover presliced cold cuts that were in the display case when they close the deli the night before.

But knowing that, I still buy them, 'cuz they’re dirt cheap: about $2.50 for a generously-stuffed sandwich. No lettuce, no tomato, sometimes not even cheese. Just meat, sometimes cheese, and maybe some mayo or mustard. Whatever they need to recycle. And if it’s labeled, you’re lucky.

I’m just going to stick to the ham and turkey from now on. At least I can tell them apart.

At least it wasn’t as bad as turning that piece of duck over and discovering I was holding half of Daffy’s head by the beak. I haven’t eaten chinese duck since.

Well, I hate to be the kind of person who gets offtopic like this, but while we’re on the opic of interesting, and even invented meats, head on over to Bisurkey.com. This is a… hmmm… interesting buisness, that specializes in a bison and turkey hybrid. It is supposedly really tasty, and really low in fat and all that stuff, so I would imagine it would be alright, but i don’t see myself eating it any time soon.

There must be Synergy in the Universe. For years I go without mentioning or thinking about Head Cheese, then I discuss it with somebody, then it shows up in the SDMB, then I read about it.

In the Rex Stout novel Death of a Doxy (A Nero Wolfe mystery) Archie Goodwin asks the reader how it’s possible that Fritz Brenner’s Head Cheese is better than the kind his own mother made back in Ohio.

This tells me that a.) HC is supposed to be an epicurean delight; and b.) it’s not just a cruel gastronomic joke that my Slavic ancestors came up with. I grew up seeing HC in the European Deli beside Tripe and Pig’s Trotters, but I am surprised to find that Pig Head Parts in Gelatine was also prepared in Middle America. It’s good to see that East Europeans don’t have a monopoly on gross food.

I thought Head Cheese was something uncircumcised guys had to deal with. :smiley:
Personally, I don’t get the whole organ meat thing. I used to love eating those Slim Jim looking things that would be in a counter-top display at a deli or similar store, until I read the ingredients one day. It contained, among other morsels, lips and heart.

And just the thought of chitlins, even if they have been “slung”. Eww.

Worse than head cheese: I was perusing the deli counter once and saw something labeled “blood and tongue loaf.” Yikes! Couldn’t one achieve the same effect by biting down real hard on their own tongue?

When I was a wee sprite, my family used to enjoy a deli-cacy called “Beef Cheese”. The smell, how to descibe it, was vaguly feeto-ish, somewhat assaulting. I never could stand the smell enough to actually try it. Found out later that one of the main ingredients was liver. Yum.

Also, growing up in a city with a large Greek population, every Greek Easter season would cause sheep heads to appear in the grocry store meat cases. I guess they were used to make home-made head cheese. Double yum.

Oh - don’t get started on sheep heads!

My friend Joe spent 6 weeks in Iceland, and came back with some real horror stories about the food there! I think this deserves it’s own thread…

OK, here’s a teaser: Sheep testicle loaf.

Ever tried unborn duckling in the egg? YUM!