I am no Anthony Bourdain or Andrew Zimmern. I’ve never eaten, yet alone enjoyed, Rocky Mountain oysters, and I know not the joys of feasting on fried scorpion skewered on a stick or mopane worms fresh from the ground. And for good reason – my stomach turns at the thought.
How then did I find myself willing to attend a dinner where all of the courses I’d be served featured animal blood? Your guess is as good as mine. And as I stood in front of my bathroom mirror day of practicing my "No really, I love it!" face, the butterflies in my stomach feel more like giant moths begging to get out.
As a researcher, after I volunteered for this task, I wanted some information to help ease my mind (and stomach). Primarily, I needed to know, is this normal? Is it normal to consume the blood of other animals? And if so, why did it seem so foreign to me?
If you make your way to St. Louis, Missouri, any time soon, ask a local to show you one of their barbecue specialties: snoots. In both editions of the classic guidebook Real Barbecue (1988 and 2007), authors Greg Johnson and Vince Staten put it this way: "First we'd better deal with 'snoots.' Snoots are part of the soul-food barbecue scene in St. Louis that will stare at you at the C & K, as well as any number of other places in town and across the river in East St. Louis. Snoots are deep-fried pig noses."
At Smoki O's, another St. Louis barbecue joint, they smoke their snoots for a couple of hours instead of frying them. Whether boiled, fried, or smoked, snoots get doused with barbecue sauce and are meant to be eaten right away.
"Balls, bumholes, penises. I haven't eaten all those things, but I've eaten most," says Chef Jamie Oliver.
Dunno about you, but this tongue we're biting over here is DELICIOUS. More offal recipes here.
Previously - Eating testicles in the Denver airport
Chris Cosentino is the chef-owner of Incanto and Boccalone in San Francisco, a competitor of the upcoming season of Top Chef Masters, and author of the new book "Beginnings: My Way to Start a Meal". He's also a massive fan of offal and says, "If you are willing to kill an animal, you should be willing to eat all of it."
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