Sunday, October 19, 2008

Eating Offal & Other Parts

The tradition of eating less than desirable cuts and parts of an animal is found in almost all of the world's cultures, dating back thousands of years. Whether you are eating chickens' feet pork, tongue , fish cheeks, heck, even chitlins in the south USA, you are participating in one of the world's greatest gastronomic practices. You are celebrating the whole animal. In a sense respecting the animal as a whole being, making sure to use all parts and let nothing go to waste.
Variety Meats have been around for thousands of years, but the interesting fact of the matter is that many people began eating this way because of economical situations. The poor had no choice. If they wanted to eat they had to make use of the parts of the animal that no one wanted. What did happen was they developed some of the tastiest products that have been forgotten due to the modern world.
Today's modern world is very different from the one that gave birth to these food traditions. Having money has removed us further and further away from our food sources . And fortunatley for most of the people I know, we dont worry about how much we eat and what we eat based on our annual income. So its easy to choose to eat only what is available at the closest market, not difficult to prepare, and wont make people think you are a gross and inhumane person.
I can only say one thing, I have the right to eat what I want, and I be live that I am doing the right thing by assuring I do my part and try and use as many "other" parts as I can.I am keeping culinary heritage alive, as a chef its important to me that the history and traditions of what I do remain and continue to be taught to the sous chefs and cooks who wish to become chefs.

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