Saturday, February 27, 2010

Italian Cuisine

There's an old saying that goes, "An Italian hugs everything that's alive

Me hugging Kelli:

and eats everything that's dead.

Dead baby lizard:

Okay, maybe we don't eat dead baby lizards. At least I never have but I bet there are plenty of Italians who have. I did, however, grow up eating some pretty strange things. Pigs feet and chicken kidneys are two of them that immediately come to mind. I thought everyone ate these and it wasn't until I got to my teens that I figured out we were odd man out with this cuisine. I haven't touched them since. don't get me wrong; I love pigs feet. They're good! And I still remember how wonderful it was to sink my teeth into a sandwich made with boiled chicken kidneys. How was I supposed to know mom boiled them to remove all the teetee still floating around in those kidneys?

One of my childhood friends was a neighbor girl named Lynn. She asked what my mom was going to cook for dinner that night.

"Chicken kidney sandwiches." I replied without much thought.

She was silent for a long time and i glanced over at her to see her face had turned green.

"You're kidding." was all she could say.

"No! They're wonderful!"

She ran away.

A few weeks later. mom made them again. I ate, made another sandwich and trotted down to Lynn's house.

"Hey, Lynn. try this."

"What is it?" she had obviously forgotten our previous conversation.

"Something good! Take a bite."

She did.

"Yummmm." she sighed. amid chews. "This is wonderful. What is it?"

"Chicken kidney samwich."

No kidding, no lie, Lynn threw up. That was my real first clue that other people simply did not eat certain things that we took for ordinary food.

Mom cooked some pretty strange stuff, among them pig stomach and calf brains.

calf brains

honeycomb tripe

My sister once told me that she remembers mom scooping up woodchuck roadkill with which to make a stew but I'm pretty sure she made that up. who knows tho?

I would not eat the stomach or the brains. In fact, if there's anything that smells worse than simmering stomach, it's simmering brains floating around a pot with some stewed tomatoes. I don't care how good your tomatoes are. It stinks. It will make you flee your house and cause bile to rise in your throat for hours after you've inhaled its aroma.

It could have been worse, I suppose; the Chinese restaurant in my sister's town got closed down because the health department discovered hamster meat in the dumplings. I can't decide if hamster meat is more disgusting than pig's feet, but I'm pretty sure hamster tastes worse.


  1. Come on, get real. Restaurant cooks can't bother with scrawny little things like hamsters, or even cats for that matter. There isn't enough meat on those critters to bother with them unless you are starving and restaurants aren't in the business of feeding starting people.

  2. But I can assure you that if you was starving that you would eat a mole. Really. I once talked to a lady that talked to another lady that had ate her first born child in order to keep going on.

  3. You mean there's anything edible under all that fur???

    Curried Hamster....mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  4. You really do love your curry, don't you?!!


Go ahead, you can do it! Just whistle if you want me. You know how to whistle, don't you? You just put your lips together and BLOW....

eXTReMe Tracker