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Otters Oddities

I'm not positive exactly what it is, but it sure looks offal!

That long thing in the upper middle? Kind of looks like a snakes head to me. I know it's not, but it kind of looks like it. And contrary to the opening statement, I know exactly what it is. And I refuse to even taste it.


Nope. Not gonna happen.

I can be described as a picky eater. But that would be an understatement. There are many out there who are more selective of what they eat than I am, but they are few and far between. I drove my parents nuts as a kid. For us, there was no such thing as fast food. Well, until McSaltyBurgers came up with their Chicken-ish Nuggets. I would not eat anything that had ketchup, mustard, pickles, onions or mayonnaise. Today, more than 40 years late, I will eat onions if they are cooked. Otherwise, I still won't touch any of those.

And I don't understand how people can eat them. I know, I'm weird. But it's not that I'm just a stubborn SOB. (I am...) I honestly do not like the flavor of them. And theres a lot of other things I don't like the flavor of.

I'm one of those unusual people. I will try something before I say I don't like it. I mean, I like okra. I had python once, and it was actually good. But if I tell you I don't like something, it's because I've tried it and don't like it. That was the arrangement my parents and I came up with when I was a wee little pooper. I wasn't allowed to say I didn't like something unless I tried it. But if I tried it and didn't like it, I didn't have to eat it.


In fact, that's how I found out I liked okra and python. And squirrel. And gizzards. And peanut butter on my hot dogs.

About the only thing I flat out refused to try was escargot. I know. They taste just like butter and garlic. But I am not putting a booger in my mouth. And my parents didn't push it. I suppose it helped that I was 14 when I was offered them. It was in a fancy-schmancy restaurant in Paris. (France, not Texas. )


And that brings me to offal. I do not like offal. Except for gizzards for some reason. I have tried it in many forms. I've had kidney pie, foie gras, liver and onions, menudo, fried hearts, chitlins, haggis. And I have never liked any of it. (again, for some reasons, I like gizzards).

Throughout history, people have eaten offal. Sometimes it was because it's all they had. But for a lot of people, the 'vitals' were some of the choicest parts of the animal. I remember once watching an episode of the original Japanese Iron Chef. I forget what kind of fish it was, but the commenters said that the best part of the fish was the innards. They were, of course, making a comment on how hard it would be to cook a fish whose flesh wasn't tasty. ( wasn't lutefisk. But I can see how you would think that...) The judges commented on how innovative the chefs would have to be, And I thought, "If the guts are the best tasting part of the fish, why the hell do people eat it?"


One dish that was very common for a long time, and still is, somewhat, was the famous Humble Pie. Today we think of humble pie as a phrase we use to signify some one was served a heaping helping of comeuppance. But it's an actual food. Sort of.

It's actually called Umble Pie. Umble derived from numble, which was the English way of pronouncing the French word nomble. Nomble, in French, means 'deer's innards'. The original umble pies, (or nomble pies if you prefer), were made out of deer innards. Hence the name.


Some will say that we get our word 'humble' from the fact that 'umbles' were considered an inferior meat only eaten by the poor. But that's false. For a long time, only the rich could afford the umbles. The poor got the lower quality meats like the rump roast or the loin. (my how times have changed)

The truth is, our modern word 'humble' has a totally different etymology that 'umbles'. The reason 'umble pie' has become 'humble pie' is due to the fact that in many dialects, the 'h' is dropped from the beginning of a word. Hence 'humble' becomes 'umble'. And when someone was said to have been humbled, they were said to have eaten a piece of humble pie.


So, be careful not to lose your dignity or we'll feed you guts.

*Authors Note*

There's a reason 'offal' sounds a lot like 'awful' people.....

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