Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I double dare you to watch this one

In my quest to find the most disgusting food substance on earth, I long ago discovered something known as head cheese. Here's a brief description:

Head cheese is in fact not a cheese, but meat pieces from the head of a calf or pig. It may also include meat from the feet, tongue and heart. It is usually eaten cold or at room temperature as a luncheon meat.

Historically meat jellies were made of the cleaned (all organs removed) head of the animal, which was simmered to produce stock. When cooled, the stock congeals because of the natural gelatin found in the skull.

So just how grotesque is this stuff? Here, you be the judge.

Oh hell yeah! See those little pieces there of tongue, heart and uh... miscellaneous head parts? Yummy.

So why exactly am I torturing you with this imagery? Because I've never know anyone on the planet who was insane enough to touch this stuff with a 10-foot fork... until now that is.

One of my longtime blog buddies, Karl, has an annual tradition of performing dares on his birthday. A few months ago he asked his readers to submit crazy things for him to do during the weeks that followed his birthday and he would pick his 5 "favorite" ideas and videotape himself doing them for us.

Well, you guessed it... on a whim I tossed in my suggestion that he "eat a big chunk of head cheese" knowing full well he'd take one look at it, throw up in his mouth, and move on to the next suggestion.

But guess what!!! Karl did NOT wimp out! And YOU get to witness it for yourselves right here.

But I have to warn you... it's not for the faint of heart (or tongue or miscellaneous head parts). I was squirming in my seat the entire video and several times I had to peek through my fingers.

So happy birthday Karl. And thank you for manning up and living up to your word. You rock.

And thumbs up to your mother for videotaping this and being such a willing accomplice to this heinous gastrointestinal crime. Ya gotta love a mom who is willing to help her son take one for the team.


Elizabeth said...

Ugh, I do not want to watch that. My grandma used to have this in her refrigerator. She used to make it herself! She would also buy it from the store when she got older and used it like luncheon meat. My mom would eat it too. Blech, maybe that's why I'm a vegetarian.

LOBO said...

I dare Karl to eat Christmas fruitcake next year.

Shieldmaiden96 said...

I did my time with this stuff; I worked at a deli that was frequented by an ancient man who was the only person to request 'the cheese'...the veterans used to scurry in the back when they saw him shuffling toward the door.

He also had long, yellow fingernails. Deee-lish.

It also quivers enticingly. Like a Jello mold full of roadkill.

Unknown said...

That was not tasty with morning coffee. Also, I am think Jeff has joined the Dark Side. That was pretty hard core. Kudos to Karl!

United Studies said...

Ewww...that is SO gross to even think about, let alone watch someone eat it!

Now I am gagging....

Anonymous said...

I'm not looking! I'm not looking! Ewwwww!

Sorry, Jeff. I just made a commitment to visit your blog daily, but now I'm rethinking it. ;)

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

elizabeth - Vegetarian? Where's the mystery in that? ;-)

lobo - Now that's going too far!

shieldmaiden96 - "...a Jello mold full of roadkill" The best description I've heard yet. I wish I would have heard that before I published it. I would have used that as the title.

jocelyn - Yeah, that's me... the hard core badass blogger. I'm even thinking about getting a head cheese tattoo.

jacki - Yeah, but did you watch it, or are you just gagging at the thought of it?

unfinished rambler - Who are you kidding? I know you're gonna watch it. You don't have a choice.

Anonymous said...

Dad eats that s#@*, and downs it with buttermilk!! You never had to see that?? I'm thinking that ranks up there in the child abuse catagory!!

rick said...

Don't you remember. When we we unsuspecting little kids I used to get Sylta sandwiches in my school lunch. That's the Swedish name for it. I never knew what it was. I thought it was just "lunchmeat". As I got older the rubbery/slimey texture started to get to me and I stopped eating it. Good times, good times.

Bill said...

My dad bought head cheese all the time. We never knew what it was. My advise is for all the family to stay away from any pig pens.

Kathy said...

I couldn't make it more than 4 min. through the video. Please send my apologies to Karl. Did he happen to say how he felt the next day? The next week? I mean, I'm guessing head cheese sort of stays with you a while.

What I want to know is who's eating it? Like, who actually buys it? If it's in a store, someone's willingly taking it home and plating it up and eating it. Or, maybe everyone's just doing it on a dare? God!

Mom Thumb said...

Well, at least you didn't dare him to eat chicken paws.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

sis - No, I don't remember that. Either I never saw it or I've blocked it from my memory. They say traumatic events can hide themselves you know.

rick - Like I told Cindy... no, I don't recall ever seeing that in our house as a kid. However, maybe I watched you have to suffer through it and that's where my fascination with it came from in the first place.

bill - I can see why you never knew what it was. What normal parent would tell their child they were eating pig head parts. Your dad was lucky there was no labeling requirements back then.

kathy - Only 4 minutes? It didn't even get gag-worthy until about 6 minutes. I think you should try again.

mom thumb - I submitted my dare before I ever saw chicken paws for the first time. But you can bet I would have. ;b

Heather said...

Thanks for the shudders. Ewww.

Meg said...

I met Karl at Blogher but didn't realize he was mental.

yellojkt said...

That stuff looks like jellied spam. No thanks.

Bill said...

Okay, how many of you will admit you have eaten sylta? Now look up the receipe.

Ed said...

The commentary by his mom is priceless.

Ed said...

Ha! I choked from laughing when he realized there was gelatin in it. Truly disgusting...fits right up with all the canned stuff I featured the other day and another nail in the carnivore coffin...

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

heather - I bet you wish that video had shudders... so you could close them.

prefers - Oh, he's WAY mental. How did you not know that?

yellojkt - No thanks is right. Not even if it wasn't jellied.

bill - Hey farmer Bill... I think you stand alone on this one.

ed - She's awesome and now has a new member of her fan club.

ve - I'm just surprised you haven't written about this by now. Usually you're the first one to find stuff this weird!

Maureen said...

No freakin' way I will even hit play on that puppy.

I had enough of "head cheese" while dating hubby... his step dad ate it and all kinds of gross out food. Wierd German farmer man.... he would make, then eat, his own sour milk; straight from the cow, leave it on the counter and wait until it curdled before he ate it.

I could barely eat while visiting his farm; stuck to veges and fruit mostly. When it was around. Gak.

Jocelyn said...

What I like:

1) The challenge

2) Karl (he's very engaging)

3) The fact that he's wearing a Jimi Hendrix tshirt

What I LOVE:

1) MOM. She stole the show.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

maureen - I love the way you describe how your hubby's step dad "ate" his milk. You know that's some pretty nasty milk when you have to eat it instead of drink it!

jocelyn - I'm with you on all points. I'm starting a petition for him to start a fan club for his mom.

Jocelyn said...

Okay, Duluth Native, what's your last name? I'm actually a transplant (about 8 or 9 years ago), so I might not be hooked up enough to know anyone from your family, but...

I teach at the community college and live in Lakeside, and if THAT'S not hooked up, baby, I don't know what is.

JD at I Do Things said...

"Did I mention there's gelatin in headcheese?"

"It's called aspic."


So I'm off the hook now, right? You dared ME to eat headcheese, but since Karl has done it (and done it quite funnily), I think we can put it to rest.

And please tell me that photo of headcheese is a cartoon. It doesn't even look real!!

PatKG said...

Oh, no that's real head cheese! Both my grandmothers used to make it. Use everything but the squeal. Fortunately, my parents hated it, so we were never subjected to it. My grandmother Keffeler made her own cottage cheese, too. My dad can't eat the stuff to this day.

Next year, dare your friend to eat chicken paws. But, they are hard to find. After that: Blutwurst! Blood sausage. To answer your question: Yes, it really is. My inlaws eat it. It was even in the breakfast buffet at some place in Albany. I couldn't do it.

Janna said...

My grandfather used to love eating head cheese.

Thirty years later, I'm still traumatized.

Much like I will be traumatized thirty years from now as a result of that video.

Tracy said...

Way to go Karl, happy birthday.

When I was growing up in Germany they had this stuff in the deli/lunch meat section all of the time. I'm glad I goofed off in German class and wasn't fluent enough to read all the ingredients.

Karl said...

Heh, just now seeing this. Thanks, dude. I will be getting with the prizewinners soon, honest.