Depression Foods

My Mom was at the grocery store the other day buying beef tongue and attracted attention of some older lady who told her that her kids were recently asking her what people ate during the Great Depression; seeing the tongue in my Mom’s cart reminded her about eating it in her childhood.

Today Consumerist brought up the subject of increased demand for organ meats in the U.K. What people eat always fascinates me mostly because our acceptance of different foods is not a matter of taste but of a cultural upbringing. People who just a minute ago were describing the delicate taste of snake will make puking noises when they see me eating tongue. Someone who likes possum, turtle, armadillo will cringe when they see me eat beef liver and so on.

In this country organ meats are often more expensive than regular beef, pork and chicken, so calling them “Depression Foods” is somewhat of a stretch, they are more of a delicacy for us.

There are not many irregular food stuffs that I will eat: beef or chicken liver, chicken gizzards, beef tongue; nothing else too weird comes to mind. I like duck, I eat turkey and rabbit but very rarely. I tried a brain sandwich once without knowing what it was and it was delicious, but I will probably never knowingly volunteer to eat it again. I recently got a comment about eating smoked but otherwise uncooked bacon. I like salt-cured uncooked fish, smoked fish and dried fish. I can drink a raw egg. My Dad ate beef lungs, kidneys and whale meat when it was still sold in the USSR. This is probably as exotic as it gets in my family. I don’t have any valid reason for not trying other things except always popular “it’s disgusting!”, but I will understand how you feel about me grimacing when you talk about eating snails or whatever else you like, I get the same look when ordering tongue taco at the Mexican restaurant. Maybe some day I will become more open to eating other things, hopefully by choice and not by necessity, until then I am interested in what unconventional foods you find irresistible.

Note:deer meat is pretty conventional around here, unless you eat some non-meat parts of the deer it doesn’t count.