Pennsylvania Dutch used to celebrate Thanksgiving
not with a turkey but the stuffed
stomach of a hog.
When eating smalahove—Norwegian sheep’s head—
the ear & eye must be consumed while still piping hot,
before their abundant fat starts to congeal.
Belgians prefer their cow tongues warm
and their pig tongues cold
with a vinaigrette.
Testicles are among the most versatile of foods,
delicious sautéed & sauced,
fricasseed, battered & deep-fried, put in pies,
poached or roasted.
The penis, or pizzle, is mostly
just fed to dogs.
According to the Talmud, tractate Berachoth,
the spleen is the seat not of anger or melancholy
but laughter. The Greeks roast it
over an open fire: splinantero.
Eating humble pie originally meant
eating a meat pie made with umbles,
originally numbles: those glistening parts
in which no one takes much pride.
Sweetbreads, which are offal,
should not be confused
with sweetmeats, which are mere confections.
I hate your guts, we say
to someone so detested
even their innocent viscera seem repulsive.
The lungs when put
to culinary use
are called lights.
Updated 1/25/12 to add a new sixth stanza, prompted by a comment from rr, as well as a new eighth stanza.
Rachel’s photographic response: “Brain.”