Posted at 7:30 pm
Put your hand up if the word ‘offal’ sends you into a fit of dry retching. There we go, don’t be shy. You’re far from alone. What is it about that particular category of meat that causes so many people to run and hide their head in a cupboard until the threat has passed? Is it the texture? The flavour? The smell? All three? Or perhaps because it has undeniably come from another once living, breathing organism? You can pretend that a piece of steak is a funny looking vegetable or that the cubes of chicken in your curry are magical titbits of protein and flavour, but a brain, well that’s a different story. I’d wager a bet that if you don’t like bones in your meat, you most definitely shirk from the idea of offal. And I must admit that the concept of eating a brain is a little confronting, if not downright nauseating. I think it has something to do with fact that you yourself are able to think about the topic whilst munching away on a fellow animal’s thought powerhouse. I don’t know about you but that a) prompts the reaction “ick” and b) gives me an unexplainable (and most likely sympathy related) headache. But hang on, I actually want to delve into the good things about offal. Yes, would you believe it, there actually are. Let’s get started shall we? Continue reading
Posted at 7:33 pm
This post is not intended to put you off eating meat/poultry/fish. I don’t believe in forcing one’s opinions and way of life onto others. I do hope, however, that it will prompt you to reconsider how much you value the hunk of muscle on your plate. It doesn’t sound very appetising when put that way, does it? When I used to eat meat, it had to look nothing like the body part it came from. I remember being revolted at finding little feathers on my barbequed chicken wings. They didn’t seem so finger-licking tasty after that. We used to loan some of our land to a neighbouring sheep farm and in return would receive a butchered lamb. Dad used to torment my sister and I by saying that it was our favourite one (i.e. the cutest & cuddliest). At the time his teasing seemed plain mean but looking back on that now, I think he was onto something. Becoming detached from the origins of the meat we eat, whether it be by happenstance or intentionally, has consequences.
It’s a lot harder to feel guilty about throwing away those extra sausages on the brink of spoiling or burning that steak into a charred mess when we’ve trained ourselves to ‘forget’ where it came from. Furthermore, when you’re trying not to remember where your hamburger came from, the welfare of cows destined for the slaughterhouse is the last thing you want to be thinking about.
Posted at 8:00 pm
Okay folks, I gotta admit something. The two units we have been studying at cooking school these last six weeks have been ‘meat and furred game’ and ‘chocolate and chocolate confectionary’. Both have been enjoyable and informative courses, however my favourite by a long shot was in fact meat. I can hear the gasps already. ‘Not chocolate?!’ Well let me tell you something, when you are working with a couple of kilos of chocolate and it’s caking your hands like clay and is messy and just.won’t.temper it’s not all Willy Wonka bliss. Did you know that it’s possible to get sick of the smell of chocolate? Well it is. In saying all of that I learnt many fascinating techniques, including making a box – yes a box, entirely out of chocolate. You can’t help but feel as though you’ve climbed Everest after that. Regardless of that, I found the meat course far more fascinating. Yes, I know I’m happily vegetarian and all that but I figure if you are going to eat meat you should at least cook it well. Respecting the animal in a way. I mean if we were prey I would hope that someone would do me the justice of at least cooking me nicely. Weird, but true. Continue reading