Thursday, May 20, 2010

You'll Love to Serve Viscera the Modern Way

I know I told you Ways With Ham was coming up next, but first I really do have to share with you the proper way to serve internal organs from various animals. I feel it's an important and oft-overlooked culinary achievement.

For instance, if you've ever wondered how to stuff a heart, you need wonder no longer. Stuffing hearts isn't, of course, the only way to serve exciting variety meats:

...for a down-home twang, or

for that Middle Eastern flair. But remember,

Those are of course beef kidneys in the above picture, which are supposed to look like giant glistening bowel movements. As of course you're well aware.

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's get on to HAM.

Everybody's favorite Spam precursor comes in many shapes. Here it is in sculptural waveforms; in petrified slab form; in glistening glucose-glazed slab form; in wet and green-tufted form, or in pink-petal-posied sandworm head form.


You may possibly be wondering what the green substance is that's protruding from one of the above examples of HAM. It is in fact combined spinach, green onions, and parsley "tucked into deep cuts in meat." If that doesn't get your motor running, I can reassure you that like every other ham recipe in the universe of these books, it also contains enough sugar to give a whole cheerleading squad diabetes. I don't know why ham must be sweet: it should not be sweet, just as all other forms of meat should not be sweet. Would you put chocolate pudding on your steak? Then don't put honey on your ham, you wretched philistines.

To return to HAM, it is found in the wild in many shapes, before Better Homes & Gardens have got their psychedelic hands on it and drenched it in corn syrup: there is cylindrical, oviform, and pig-leg-shaped ham to be found, as well as rectangular, laminar, or long-barrow-shaped ham.

These hams have been sat on. Notice that the one in the middle apparently features a navel.

I trust this provides a thorough and well-balanced view of the world of ham, and close this episode of Non-Euclidean Food with the following image. I'm not telling you what this is: you will probably be able to locate it elsewhere on the web, but for now let it remain mercifully unidentified. This is from a cookbook published by a well-known and respectable family-oriented magazine.


  1. I feel as though that last image wants me to take a good snort of turmeric, turn yellow, and DIE.

    Also, I have eaten chicken hearts. They're...chewy. I do not wish to try beef heart, on this theory.

  2. I have never eaten a beef heart either, but I have dissected one in bio class, and "chewy" is not the word for it. "The consistency of tractor tire" is a bit closer.