Offal – love it or hate it, we never went hungry

Was having a discussion with a colleague today about the foods we hated as children and how that  influences our preferences today – for good or bad.  How we were lied to about the content of a meal and how we, in turn, as parents lie to our children to get them to eat what is available. 

Reminiscing of Tripe and onions, Liver loaf, stuffed or braised Hearts and Sweetbreads in white sauce……. devilled Kidneys, boiled Tongue, Oxtail stew, braised Neck and so much more……

Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liverslices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencods’ roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.”   ― James Joyce, Ulysses

Added to the sweedes, turnips and kohlrabi we were fortunate to never go to bed hungry.


One thought on “Offal – love it or hate it, we never went hungry

  1. Back then, Tripe [aka chicken & vege casserrole topped with mashed potato smothered with cheese], was 1 shilling per 1/2 pound weight, Ox Liver [to have with bacon and lots of onions] was about a shilling per ox liver, an ox heart [braised or baked in the oven with herbs scattered on top, was only 6 pence to 1 were kidneys – sheep being the cheapest and took a lot less time to prepare than the ox kidney that had a lot more fatty bits to be cut out. The dearest part of the kidney meal was the purchase of some gravy beef to make steak and kidney pie. Sweetbreads and brains [in white sauce] were a delicacy that didn’t cost much at all, – for a shilling you could get about 1/2 a pound, whereas ox tongue, neck, and ox-tail were 15 to 20 pence [2 shillings] – a bit dearer but you were able to feed more people. Lamb shanks, which we used to have instead of a roast of lamb, cost 6 pence each. I remember being most upset when they rose to 1 shilling each, and eventually went up to 2 shillings and 6 pence. Once we go a freezer, we were able to purchase a whole side of lamb for around 10 Pounds so my friend and I would go halves. A side of beef was about 25 Pounds and you needed another four friends to be able to afford that.


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