Local? Yes. Delicacy? Well… depends on where you’re standing, really.
Gene Logsdon takes an irreverent look at the other side of local foods—or loco foods—in his latest post on The Contrary Farmer. Pull up a seat and dig in.
Out here in the flatland corn forests of the Midwest, we boast that we have the localest food in the country. Some of it never travels farther than 200 feet, the average distance between barn and house.
Souse is one such delicacy. If you don’t know about souse you are a mere fledgling in the world of local foods. If you do know about it, you may refer to it more often as loco food. You can find out about it in cookbooks, but I can save you the time. Souse is the inedible parts of a hog cooked to a gelatinous mass that has the consistency and taste of Vaseline washed in vinegar. If it is not a local food where you live, count your blessings.
Blood pudding is another loco food still made in our county. Some cookbooks have recipes for it but none of them tell the whole story. Frontier farmers eking out a living before giant tractors were discovered in the primeval forests invented this savory dish. It consists of everything in or on a razorback hog that can’t be eaten until one is near starvation. After surviving on the stuff in one’s youth, old timers keep forcing it on younger generations out of loyalty to the past. Younger generations, worried about the future of mankind, have been known to make blood pudding disappear on the way from barn to the kitchen. It goes from barn to doghouse, ten feet away, making it the grand champion of all local foods.
If you are a locavore, be thankful you don’t live in Kentucky. A local dish where my wife grew up is called Kentucky oysters. I don’t know how to say it delicately so I will just say it. Kentucky oysters, or mountain oysters in other states, are pig gonads. My wife insists they are actually not bad.
I myself am glad that I don’t live in California where avocados are local food. To me an avocado tastes something like a wad of cotton that has been immersed in three year old lard for a few days. Californians keep trying to pawn their avocados off on unsuspecting flatlanders in the cornbelt. My mother tried to hide some in a salad once, but I fetched every single slice out before my brother and sisters could be harmed.