Friday, February 27, 2009

M'm! M'm! Good!


We thought we hit the top of the curve (or, the bottom, depending on how you look at it), when we posted the detailed view of Spam (the kind you eat), back last November.

Meg Marco, over on The Consumerist posted this yesterday;

The "Worst Food Product Ever" May Have Been Found

Pork Brains In Milk Gravy. Could it be the worst food product ever? It does have 1170% of your daily cholesterol per serving. Mmmm

Can you imagine working on the production line of this place?

But wait, there is a competitor to Armour!

Rose Brand Pork Brains w/ Milk Gravy (5 oz.)

And they all belong (including Spam) in a category that's called "Potted Meat Food Products"

And there is a "Tribute Page" to such!

The Potted Meat Food Product Tribute Page
A Call To Armour

Fairly soon, however, the line was picked up by a representative named Bob. I told him I had some questions about one of their products, specifically, Potted Meat Food Product.

"Go ahead," Bob said. There was no fear or hesitation in his voice; I could tell that he was well-versed in Potted Meat Food Product lore.

"Okay," I said, "One of the ingredients is listed as `partially defatted cooked pork fatty tissue'. What exactly is partially defatted fatty tissue?"

"Well," Bob replied, "There's a certain amount of tissue that holds fat. This tissue has the fat rendered out of it, and it's used for flavoring and seasoning." He further compared it to "cracklins", which I've seen in the supermarket. They frighten me.

"Okay, my next question is, since Partially Defatted Cooked Pork Fatty Tissue is the only one specifically labeled as being cooked, does that mean that the other ingredients aren't cooked?"

"Oh, no," he assured me, "it's all cooked before it goes into the can."
Okay, there you go ... You can run out to the supermarket and get your choice Potted Meat product, because "it's all cooked before it goes into the can."

And there is, not necessarily so suprising, a Wikipedia entry for it;
Cultural consumption

In the Southern United States, canned pork brain in gravy can be purchased for consumption as food. This form of brain is often fried with scrambled eggs to produce the famous "Eggs n' Brains".[1] They are part of the menu in many family owned restaurants throughout the region.

The brain of animals also features in French cuisine, in dishes such as cervelle de veau and tĂȘte de veau.

Similar delicacies from around the world include Mexican tacos de sesos made with cattle brain as well as squirrel brain in the US South.[2] The Anyang tribe of Cameroon practiced a tradition in which a new tribal chief would consume the brain of a hunted gorilla while another senior member of the tribe would eat the heart.[3] Indonesian cuisine specialty in Minangkabau cuisine also served beef brain in a gravy coconut milk named gulai otak (beef brain curry). Roasted or fried goat brain is eaten in the south of India and some parts of northern India. In Cuban cuisine, "brain fritters" made by coating pieces of brain with bread crumbs and then frying them.

In India, certain restaurants serve brain as bheja fry, literally brain fry. It's cooked in its own fat along with standard base used in curry.
And, what are the risk of such culinary treats?
Fat and cholesterol

Consuming the brain and other nerve tissue of animals is not without risks. The first problem is that the makeup of the brain is 60% fat due to large quantities of myelin (which itself is 70% fat) insulating the axons of neurons.[4] As an example, a 140 g can of "pork brains in milk gravy", a single serving, contains 3500 milligrams of cholesterol, 1170% of the USRDA.[5]
We'll be waiting, probably coming out in the World Weekly News, of the first "suicide by pork brains in milk gravy".

Or a Reality Show.

Bonus Riffs

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