Offal
Overview
Offal ˈɒfəl, also called, especially in the United States, variety meats or organ meats, refers to the internal organs and entrails of a butchered animal
Animal
Animals are a major group of multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their life. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and...

. The word does not refer to a particular list of edible organs, which varies by culture and region, but includes most internal organs other than muscle
Muscle
Muscle is a contractile tissue of animals and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. Muscle cells contain contractile filaments that move past each other and change the size of the cell. They are classified as skeletal, cardiac, or smooth muscles. Their function is to...

 and bone
Bone
Bones are rigid organs that constitute part of the endoskeleton of vertebrates. They support, and protect the various organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells and store minerals. Bone tissue is a type of dense connective tissue...

. As an English mass noun
Mass noun
In linguistics, a mass noun is a noun that refers to some entity as an undifferentiated unit rather than as something with discrete subsets. Non-count nouns are best identified by their syntactic properties, and especially in contrast with count nouns. The semantics of mass nouns are highly...

, the term "offal" is used in the same form for singular and plural.
Encyclopedia
Offal ˈɒfəl, also called, especially in the United States, variety meats or organ meats, refers to the internal organs and entrails of a butchered animal
Animal
Animals are a major group of multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their life. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and...

. The word does not refer to a particular list of edible organs, which varies by culture and region, but includes most internal organs other than muscle
Muscle
Muscle is a contractile tissue of animals and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. Muscle cells contain contractile filaments that move past each other and change the size of the cell. They are classified as skeletal, cardiac, or smooth muscles. Their function is to...

 and bone
Bone
Bones are rigid organs that constitute part of the endoskeleton of vertebrates. They support, and protect the various organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells and store minerals. Bone tissue is a type of dense connective tissue...

. As an English mass noun
Mass noun
In linguistics, a mass noun is a noun that refers to some entity as an undifferentiated unit rather than as something with discrete subsets. Non-count nouns are best identified by their syntactic properties, and especially in contrast with count nouns. The semantics of mass nouns are highly...

, the term "offal" is used in the same form for singular and plural. Some cultures shy away from offal as food, while others use it as everyday food, or in delicacies.

Some offal dishes are considered gourmet food in international cuisine. This includes foie gras
Foie gras
Foie gras ; French for "fat liver") is a food product made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened. This fattening is typically achieved through gavage corn, according to French law, though outside of France it is occasionally produced using natural feeding...

, pâté
Pâté
Pâté is a mixture of ground meat and fat minced into a spreadable paste. Common additions include vegetables, herbs, spices, and either wine or cognac, armagnac or brandy...

and sweetbreads.
Other offal dishes remain part of traditional regional cuisine and may be consumed especially in connection with holidays. This includes Scottish haggis
Haggis
Haggis is a dish containing sheep's 'pluck' , minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally simmered in the animal's stomach for approximately three hours. Most modern commercial haggis is prepared in a casing rather than an actual stomach.Haggis is a kind...

, Jewish chopped liver
Chopped liver
Chopped liver is a spread popular in Jewish cuisine.It is often made by sautéeing or broiling liver and onions in schmaltz; adding hard-boiled eggs, salt and pepper, and grinding that mixture...

, Southern U.S. and African-American chitterlings
Chitterlings
Chitterlings are the intestines of a pig, although cattle and other animals' intestines are similarly used, that have been prepared as food. In various countries across the world, such food is prepared and eaten either as part of a daily diet, or at special events, holidays or religious...

, as well as many other dishes. Intestines are used as casing for sausages, although cheaper types may use artificial casing.

Depending on the context, offal may refer to those parts of an animal carcass discarded after butcher
Butcher
A butcher is a person who may slaughter animals, dress their flesh, sell their meat or any combination of these three tasks. They may prepare standard cuts of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish for sale in retail or wholesale food establishments...

ing or skinning
Skinning
Skinning, a gerund from the verb to skin, commonly refers to the act of skin removal.The process is usually done with animals, mainly as preparation of the meat beneath and/or use for the fur...

; it may also refer to the by-products of milled grain
GRAIN
GRAIN is a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems. Our support takes the form of independent research and analysis, networking at local, regional and...

s, such as corn or wheat.. Offal not used directly for human or animal food is often processed in a rendering
Rendering (industrial)
Rendering is a process that converts waste animal tissue into stable, value-added materials. Rendering can refer to any processing of animal byproducts into more useful materials, or more narrowly to the rendering of whole animal fatty tissue into purified fats like lard or tallow...

 plant, producing material that is used for fertilizer
Fertilizer
Fertilizer is any organic or inorganic material of natural or synthetic origin that is added to a soil to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants. A recent assessment found that about 40 to 60% of crop yields are attributable to commercial fertilizer use...

 or fuel
Fuel
Fuel is any material that stores energy that can later be extracted to perform mechanical work in a controlled manner. Most fuels used by humans undergo combustion, a redox reaction in which a combustible substance releases energy after it ignites and reacts with the oxygen in the air...

; or in some cases, it may be added to commercially produced pet food
Pet food
Pet food is plant or animal material intended for consumption by pets. Typically sold in pet stores and supermarkets, it is usually specific to the type of animal, such as dog food or cat food...

.

In earlier times, mobs sometimes threw offal and other rubbish at condemned criminals as a show of public disapproval:
In 1809 Richard Thomas Dudman and Edward Wood were convicted of a "conspiracy" to commit sodomy, and sentenced to two years' imprisonment and to stand for one hour in the pillory, where they were pelted with offal supplied by the butchers of Newgate and Fleet Markets.

Etymology

The word shares its etymology with several German words: Abfall (offall in some Western German dialects), afval in Dutch and Afrikaans, avfall in Norwegian and Swedish, and affald in Danish. These Germanic words all mean "garbage", or—literally—"off-fall", referring to that which has fallen off during butchering. However, these words are not used to refer to food. For instance, the German word for offal is Innereien.

Europe

In some parts of Europe, scrotum
Scrotum
In some male mammals the scrotum is a dual-chambered protuberance of skin and muscle containing the testicles and divided by a septum. It is an extension of the perineum, and is located between the penis and anus. In humans and some other mammals, the base of the scrotum becomes covered with curly...

, brain
Brain (as food)
The brain, like most other internal organs, or offal, can serve as nourishment. Brains used for nourishment include those of pigs, squirrels, horses, cattle, monkeys, chickens and goats...

, chitterlings
Chitterlings
Chitterlings are the intestines of a pig, although cattle and other animals' intestines are similarly used, that have been prepared as food. In various countries across the world, such food is prepared and eaten either as part of a daily diet, or at special events, holidays or religious...

 (pig's small intestine), trotters
Pig's trotters
Pig's trotters are the feet of pigs. The cuts are used in various dishes around the world, they have been used by chefs such as Marco Pierre White and Pierre Koffmann, and have increased in popularity since the late-2000s financial crisis.-Description:...

 (feet), heart, head (of pigs, calves, sheep and lamb), kidney, liver
Liver (food)
The liver of mammals, fowl, and fish are commonly eaten as food by humans. Domestic pig, ox, lamb, calf, chicken, and goose livers are widely available from butchers and supermarkets....

, spleen
Spleen
The spleen is an organ found in virtually all vertebrate animals with important roles in regard to red blood cells and the immune system. In humans, it is located in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen. It removes old red blood cells and holds a reserve of blood in case of hemorrhagic shock...

, "lights" (lung
Lung
The lung is the essential respiration organ in many air-breathing animals, including most tetrapods, a few fish and a few snails. In mammals and the more complex life forms, the two lungs are located near the backbone on either side of the heart...

), sweetbread
Sweetbread
Sweetbreads or ris are culinary names for the thymus or the pancreas especially of the calf and lamb...

s (thymus
Thymus
The thymus is a specialized organ of the immune system. The thymus produces and "educates" T-lymphocytes , which are critical cells of the adaptive immune system....

 or pancreas
Pancreas
The pancreas is a gland organ in the digestive and endocrine system of vertebrates. It is both an endocrine gland producing several important hormones, including insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin, as well as a digestive organ, secreting pancreatic juice containing digestive enzymes that assist...

), fries (testicles), tongue, snout
Snout
The snout, or muzzle, is the protruding portion of an animal's face, consisting of its nose, mouth, and jaw.-Terminology:The term "muzzle", used as a noun, can be ambiguous...

 (nose), tripe
Tripe
Tripe is a type of edible offal from the stomachs of various farm animals.-Beef tripe:...

 (reticulum) and maws (stomach) from various mammals are common menu items.

United Kingdom

The traditional Scottish haggis
Haggis
Haggis is a dish containing sheep's 'pluck' , minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally simmered in the animal's stomach for approximately three hours. Most modern commercial haggis is prepared in a casing rather than an actual stomach.Haggis is a kind...

 consists of sheep stomach stuffed with a boiled mix of liver, heart, lungs, rolled oats and other ingredients. In the English Midlands, faggot
Faggot (food)
Faggots are a traditional dish in the UK, especially South and Mid Wales and the Midlands of England. It is made from meat off-cuts and offal, especially pork. A faggot is traditionally made from pig's heart, liver and fatty belly meat or bacon minced together, with herbs added for flavouring and...

s are made from ground or minced pig offal (mainly liver and cheek), bread, herbs and onion wrapped in pig's caul
Caul
A caul is a thin, filmy membrane, the amnion, that can cover a newborn's head and face immediately after birth.-Obstetrics:A child "born with the caul" has a portion of the amniotic sac or membrane remaining on the head. There are two types of cauls. The most common caul is adhered to the head...

. Steak and kidney pie
Steak and kidney pie
Steak and kidney pie is a savoury pie that is filled principally with a mixture of diced beef, diced kidney , fried onion, and brown gravy...

 (typically featuring veal or beef kidneys) is widely known and enjoyed in Britain and Ireland. Brawn is a British English
British English
British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...

 term for "head cheese
Head cheese
Head cheese , or brawn , is a cold cut that originated in Europe. A version pickled with vinegar is known as souse. Head cheese is not a cheese but a terrine or meat jelly made with flesh from the head of a calf or pig , and often set in aspic. Which parts of the head are used can vary, but the...

", or the collection of meat and tissue found on an animal's skull (typically a pig) that is cooked, chilled and set in gelatin. Another British and Irish food is black pudding, consisting of congealed pig's blood with oatmeal made into sausage-like links with pig intestine as a casing, then boiled and is usually fried on preparation. The jelly in Melton Mowbray pork pies is made from pig trotters. Pressed and sliced ox tongue remains popular for use in sandwiches. Luncheon Tongue refers to reformed pork tongue pieces. Both kinds of tongue are found in tinned form and in slices. Home pressing and cooking of tongue has become less common over the last fifty years. Bleached tripe was a popular dish in Northern England with many specialist tripe shops in industrial areas: these too have almost all closed.

Nordic countries

In Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 the smalahove
Smalahove
Smalahove is a Western Norwegian traditional dish made from a sheep's head, originally eaten before Christmas. The name of the dish comes from the combination of the Norwegian words hove and smale. Hove is a dialectal form of hovud, meaning head, and smale is one word for sheep...

 is a traditional dish, usually eaten around and before Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 time, made from a sheep's head. The skin and fleece of the head is torched, the brain removed, and the head is salted, sometimes smoked, and dried. The head is boiled for about 3 hours and served with mashed rutabaga/swede
Rutabaga
The rutabaga, swede , turnip or yellow turnip is a root vegetable that originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnip; see Triangle of U...

 and potato
Potato
The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family . The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species...

es. The ear and eye (one half of a head is one serving) are normally eaten first, as they are the fattiest area and must be eaten warm.The head is often eaten from the front to the back, working around the bones of the skull. Smalahove is considered by some to be unappealing or even repulsive. It is mostly enjoyed by enthusiasts, and is often served to tourists and more adventurous visitors.

Other Norwegian specialities include Smalaføtter, which is a traditional dish similar to Smalahove, but instead of a sheep's head it is made of lamb's feet. Syltelabb
Syltelabb
Syltelabb is a Norwegian traditional dish, usually eaten around and before Christmas time, made from boiled, salt-cured pig's trotter. They are traditionally eaten using one's fingers, as a snack food. They are sometimes served with beetroot, mustard and fresh bread or with lefse or flatbread...

 is boiled, salt-cured pig's trotter, and is known as a Christmas delicacy for enthusiasts. Syltelabb is usually sold cooked and salted. In 2006 the World Cup in Syltelabb eating was held in Brokelandsheia Norway where Norwegian comedian Kristopher Schau participated.

In Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 a version of liver pâté
Pâté
Pâté is a mixture of ground meat and fat minced into a spreadable paste. Common additions include vegetables, herbs, spices, and either wine or cognac, armagnac or brandy...

, known as "leverpostej
Leverpostej
Leverpostej , leverpostei , leverpastej , , maksapasteija or leverpastei is a "pâté" made of pork liver and lard, which is a popular spread in northern Europe...

" in Danish, used as a spread (often in an open sandwich
Open sandwich
An open sandwich, also known as an open face/faced sandwich, Ulrich Sandwich, bread baser, or tartine, consists of a single slice of bread with one or more food items on top.- In various countries :...

 on rye bread
Rye bread
Rye bread is a type of bread made with various percentages of flour from rye grain. It can be light or dark in color, depending on the type of flour used and the addition of coloring agents, and is typically denser than bread made from wheat flour...

) is considered a national dish. The most common main ingredients of leverpostej are pork liver, lard
Lard
Lard is pig fat in both its rendered and unrendered forms. Lard was commonly used in many cuisines as a cooking fat or shortening, or as a spread similar to butter. Its use in contemporary cuisine has diminished because of health concerns posed by its saturated-fat content and its often negative...

 and anchovies, but numerous alternative recipes exist. The 5.5 million Danes consume roughly 14,000 tons of leverpostej per year, the most popular commercial brand being Stryhn's. Versions of brawn (often served on rye bread as an open sandwich with garnish of dijon mustard and pickled beetroot
Beetroot
The beetroot, also known as the table beet, garden beet, red beet or informally simply as beet, is one of the many cultivated varieties of beets and arguably the most commonly encountered variety in North America, Central America and Britain.-Consumption:The usually deep-red roots of beetroot are...

) and blood sausage
Blood sausage
Black pudding, blood pudding or blood sausage is a type of sausage made by cooking blood or dried blood with a filler until it is thick enough to congeal when cooled. The dish exists in various cultures from Asia to Europe...

 (served pan-fried with muscovado
Muscovado
Muscovado is a type of unrefined brown sugar with a strong molasses flavor.Also known as "Barbados sugar" or "moist sugar", muscovado is very dark brown and slightly coarser and stickier than most brown sugars. Muscovado takes its flavor and color from its source, sugarcane juice. It offers good...

) are eaten mainly during wintertime, e.g. as part of the traditional Danish Christmas lunch or "julefrokost".
Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 has its own version of both haggis
Haggis
Haggis is a dish containing sheep's 'pluck' , minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally simmered in the animal's stomach for approximately three hours. Most modern commercial haggis is prepared in a casing rather than an actual stomach.Haggis is a kind...

 and brawn. The Icelandic haggis called "slátur" (slaughter) is made in two versions: "Blóðmör" (bloodlard), a sheep's stomach stuffed with a mixture of sheep's blood, rolled oats and cut up bits of sheep's fat, and "lifrarpylsa" (liver sausage), which consists of sheep stomach stuffed with a mixture of ground lamb's liver, rolled oats and cut-up bits of mutton. The Icelandic brawn "Svið
Svið
Svið is a traditional Icelandic dish consisting of a sheep's head cut in half, singed to remove the fur, and boiled with the brain removed, sometimes cured in lactic acid....

" is made from singed sheep heads, and it is eaten either hot or cold off the bone or set in gelatin.

Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 has a version of the British black pudding called "blodpudding" (blood pudding) and the Dutch also have their version of black pudding, called "Bloedworst" (bloodsausage). The Scottish haggis
Haggis
Haggis is a dish containing sheep's 'pluck' , minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally simmered in the animal's stomach for approximately three hours. Most modern commercial haggis is prepared in a casing rather than an actual stomach.Haggis is a kind...

 is called "pölsa" or "lungmos" (mashed lung). The Swedish "pölsa" is made of some offal like liver
Liver
The liver is a vital organ present in vertebrates and some other animals. It has a wide range of functions, including detoxification, protein synthesis, and production of biochemicals necessary for digestion...

 or heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

, onions, rolled barley and spices and is served with boiled potatoes, fried eggs and sliced beetroot
Beetroot
The beetroot, also known as the table beet, garden beet, red beet or informally simply as beet, is one of the many cultivated varieties of beets and arguably the most commonly encountered variety in North America, Central America and Britain.-Consumption:The usually deep-red roots of beetroot are...

. "Blodpudding" is mostly served sliced and fried with lingonberry preserve, grated carrot and fried bacon. Other popular offal dishes are "levergryta" (liver stew) "leverpastej" (liver pâté).

Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 also has its own version of black pudding, mustamakkara
Mustamakkara
Mustamakkara is a type of Finnish blood sausage traditionally eaten with lingonberry jam. It is nowadays available in many stores across Finland, but is held in the position of local delicacy and speciality of Tampere...

 (black sausage). There is also liver sausage, usually eaten as a spread on bread, similarly to the Danish leverpostej
Leverpostej
Leverpostej , leverpostei , leverpastej , , maksapasteija or leverpastei is a "pâté" made of pork liver and lard, which is a popular spread in northern Europe...

. Liver is also eaten in various other forms including fried slices and minced liver patties. Liver casserole, traditionally made with minced liver, rice, butter, onions, egg, syrup and usually raisins, used to be mainly a Christmas dish, but is now available and eaten all year round. There are also many traditional and modern game
Game
A game is structured playing, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool. Games are distinct from work, which is usually carried out for remuneration, and from art, which is more often an expression of aesthetic or ideological elements...

 recipes that use offal.

Western Europe

In France, the city of Lyon
Lyon
Lyon , is a city in east-central France in the Rhône-Alpes region, situated between Paris and Marseille. Lyon is located at from Paris, from Marseille, from Geneva, from Turin, and from Barcelona. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais....

 is well known for its Offal: Andouillette, Tablier de sapeur (Breaded Tripe), foie de veau, rognons à la crème, tripes...
In Marseille
Marseille
Marseille , known in antiquity as Massalia , is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 852,395 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Marseille extends beyond the city limits with a population of over 1,420,000 on an area of...

, lamb's trotters and a package of lamb tripe
Tripe
Tripe is a type of edible offal from the stomachs of various farm animals.-Beef tripe:...

 are a traditional food under the name "pieds et paquets". In France, chitterlings sausage is regarded as a delicacy called andouillette
Andouillette
Andouillette is a coarse-grained tripe sausage made with pork , chitterlings, pepper, wine, onions, and seasonings. Andouillette sausage is a smaller version of the andouille sausage, generally smaller than 25 mm in diameter...

.

Especially in southern Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, some offal varieties are served in regional cuisine. The Bavarian expression Kronfleischküche includes skirt steak
Skirt steak
Skirt steak is a cut of beef steak, from the plate. It is a long, flat cut that is prized for its flavor rather than tenderness. Sometimes flank steak is used interchangeably with skirt steak, but it is a different cut of meat....

 and offal as well, e.g. Milzwurst, a sausage containg small pieces of spleen
Spleen
The spleen is an organ found in virtually all vertebrate animals with important roles in regard to red blood cells and the immune system. In humans, it is located in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen. It removes old red blood cells and holds a reserve of blood in case of hemorrhagic shock...

, and even dishes based on udder
Udder
An udder is an organ formed of the mammary glands of female quadruped mammals, especially ruminants such as cattle, goats, sheep and deer. The udder is a single mass hanging beneath the animal, consisting of pairs of mammary glands...

. Swabia is famous for Saure Kutteln — sour tripes, served steaming hot with fried potatoes. Herzgulasch is a (formerly cheaper) type of goulash
Goulash
Goulash is a soup or stew of meat, noodles and vegetables , seasoned with paprika and other spices. Originating in Hungary, goulash is also a popular meal in Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Romania, Scandinavia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the north-eastern Italian region of Friuli Venezia...

 using heart. Liver is part of various recipes, such as some sorts of Knödel
Knödel
Knödel or Klöße are large round poached or boiled potato or bread dumplings, made without yeast. They are typical components of Austrian, German, Hungarian and Czech cuisine, and come in many different forms. They can be made from flour, potatoes, old bread, semolina and many more...

 and Spätzle
Spätzle
Spätzle are a type of egg noodle of soft texture found in the cuisine of Germany and of Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Alsace and South Tyrol.-History:The geographic origin of spätzle is not precisely...

, and in Liverwurst
Liverwurst
The German , that translates literally as "liver sausage," is the typical sausage served in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden and Romania . Liverwurst normally contains pigs' livers, rather than calves' livers and also contains veal...

. As a main dish, together with cooked sliced apple and onion rings, liver (Leber Berliner Art, liver Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 style) is a famous recipe from the German capital. Helmut Kohl
Helmut Kohl
Helmut Josef Michael Kohl is a German conservative politician and statesman. He was Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 and the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union from 1973 to 1998...

's preference for Saumagen
Saumagen
Saumagen is a German dish popular in the Palatinate. The name means "sow's stomach". The dish is similar to a sausage in that it consists of a stuffed casing; however, the stomach itself is integral to the dish. It isn't as thin as a typical sausage casing...

 was a challenge to various political visitors during his terms as German Chancellor. Markklößchen are small dumplings made with bone marrow; they are served as part of Hochzeitssuppe
Hochzeitssuppe
Hochzeitssuppe is a clear, German soup based on chicken broth, fortified with chicken meat, small meatballs , asparagus heads, noodles and cooked egg garnish...

(wedding soup), a soup served at marriages in some German regions. In Bavaria, lung stew is served with Knödel
Knödel
Knödel or Klöße are large round poached or boiled potato or bread dumplings, made without yeast. They are typical components of Austrian, German, Hungarian and Czech cuisine, and come in many different forms. They can be made from flour, potatoes, old bread, semolina and many more...

, dumplings.

In Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 several classic dishes include organ meat. Beef or veal tongue in tomato-Madeira
Madeira
Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago that lies between and , just under 400 km north of Tenerife, Canary Islands, in the north Atlantic Ocean and an outermost region of the European Union...

 sauce with mushrooms and kidneys in mustard cream sauce are probably the most famous ones. The famous "stoofvlees" or carbonade flamande, a beef stew with onions and brown beer, used to contain pieces of liver or kidney, to reduce the costs. Pork tongues are also eaten cold with bread and a vinaigrette with raw onions or some mustard.

Southern Europe

In Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 consumption of entrails and internal organs is quite widespread. Among the most popular preparations are fried or stewed brain; boiled stomach (trippa
Tripe
Tripe is a type of edible offal from the stomachs of various farm animals.-Beef tripe:...

), often served with tomato sauce; lampredotto
Lampredotto
Lampredotto is a typical Florentine peasant dish, made from the fourth and final stomach of a cow, the abomasum. "Lampredotto" is derived from the Italian word for lamprey eels, lampreda---once very abundant in the waters of the Arno River---as the tripe resembles a cooked lamprey in shape and...

 (the fourth stomach of the cow), boiled in broth and seasoned with parsley sauce and chili; liver (stir-fried with onions, roasted); kidneys; heart and coronaries (coratella or animelle); head, eyes, and testicles of pig; and several preparations based on chicken entrails. Pajata is a traditional dish from Rome. It refers to the intestines of an "un-weaned" calf, i.e., only fed on its mother's milk. The calf is killed soon after nursing. The intestines are cleaned, but the milk is left inside. When cooked, the combination of heat and the enzyme rennet in the intestines coagulates the milk and creates a sort of thick, creamy, cheese-like sauce. Pajata and tomatoes are often used to prepare a typical sauce for rigatoni
Rigatoni alla Pajata
Rigatoni con la Pajata is a classic dish of the Roman Cuisine. The dish can still be found in some traditional trattorias in Rome. Pajata is the term for the intestines of an "un-weaned" calf, i.e., only fed on its mother's milk. The intestines are cleaned and skinned, but the Chyme is left inside...

. In Sicily, many enjoy a type of sandwich called "pani ca meusa", or bread with spleen and caciocavallo
Caciocavallo
Caciocavallo is a type of stretched-curd cheese made out of sheep's or cow's milk. It is produced throughout Southern Italy, especially mostly on the Apennine Mountains...

 cheese. In the Italian neighborhoods of Brooklyn, New York, where it is also commonly eaten, it goes by the name 'vastedda'. In Norcia
Norcia
Norcia is a town and comune in the province of Perugia in southeastern Umbria, located in a wide plain abutting the Monti Sibillini, a subrange of the Apennines with some of its highest peaks, near the Sordo River, a small stream that eventually flows into the Nera...

 and other zones of Umbria
Umbria
Umbria is a region of modern central Italy. It is one of the smallest Italian regions and the only peninsular region that is landlocked.Its capital is Perugia.Assisi and Norcia are historical towns associated with St. Francis of Assisi, and St...

, pig's bowels are also cured with herbs, chili pepper and spices, dried and smoked to make a tough, spicy sausage in which the bowel is the main ingredient instead of the casing as usual.

In Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, the visceral organs are used in many traditional dishes, but the use of some of them is falling out of favor with the younger generations. Some traditional dishes are callos (cow tripe, very traditional in Madrid and Asturias), liver (often prepared with onion or with garlic and parsley, and also as breaded steaks), kidneys (often prepared with sherry wine or grilled), brains (of sheep), criadillas (bull testicles), braised cow's tongue, pig's head and feet (in Catalonia; pig feet are also traditionally eaten with snails), pork brains (part of the traditional 'tortilla sacromonte' in Granada) and pigs' ears (mostly in Galicia). There are also many varieties of blood sausage (morcilla), with flavours and textures ranging from very spicy to very mild. Some of the strongest are as hard in texture as chorizo or salami, while others are very soft, and some types include rice, giving the stuffing a haggis-like appearance. "Morcillas" are added to soups, or just boiled on their own, in which case the cooking liquid is discarded. They are sometimes grilled and rarely fried. Also coagulated, boiled blood is a typical dish in Valencia (cut into cubes and often prepared with onion and/or tomato sauce).

In Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 traditionally, the whole animal's visceral organs are used in many dishes. Trotters (also known as chispe), tripe and pig's ears are cooked in bean broths. The cow's brain (Mioleira) is also a delicacy, although consumption has decreased since Creutzfeld-Jakob outbreak. The blood of the pig is used to produce a very peculiar form of black pudding known as farinhato that includes flour and seasonings. Chicken feet are also used in soups.

In Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 (and similarly in Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

 and the Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

), splinantero consists of liver, spleen, and small intestine, roasted over an open fire. A festive variety is kokoretsi (from Turkish kokoreç, Macedonian kukurek): pieces of lamb offal (liver, heart, lungs, spleen, kidney and fat) are pierced on a spit and covered by washed small intestine wound around in a tube-like fashion. The kokoretsi is then roasted over a coal fire. It is a traditional dish for Easter
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

. Another traditional Easter food is magiritsa
Magiritsa
Magiritsa is a Greek soup made from lamb offal, associated with the Easter tradition of the Greek Orthodox Church. Accordingly, Greek-Americans and Greek-Canadians sometimes call it "Easter soup", "Easter Sunday soup", or "Easter lamb soup"...

: a soup made with lamb offal and lettuce in a white sauce, eaten at midnight on Easter Sunday to break the fast
Fasting
Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually a single day , or several days. Other fasts may be only partially restrictive,...

 of lent
Lent
In the Christian tradition, Lent is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer – through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial – for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and...

. Tzigerosarmas (from Turkish ciğer sarması, meaning "liver wrap") and gardoumba are two varieties of splinantero and kokoretsi made in different sizes and with extra spices to improve the taste.

Eastern Europe

In Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, there is a dish similar to haggis
Haggis
Haggis is a dish containing sheep's 'pluck' , minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally simmered in the animal's stomach for approximately three hours. Most modern commercial haggis is prepared in a casing rather than an actual stomach.Haggis is a kind...

 called drob, which is served at Easter. Romanian peasants make a kind of traditional sausage from pork offal, called caltaboş -- the main difference being that drob is enclosed in abdominal membranes (prapore) of the animal, while chitterlings is used for caltaboş. A popular dish of tripe soup called ciorbă de burtă is similar to shkembe chorba (from Turkish işkembe çorbası). There is also a twofold variation on the concept of head cheese: piftie which does contain gelatin, is served cold and is usually only made from pork or beef (traditionally only pork), but does not contain as much head material (usually only the lower legs and ears are used since they contain large amounts of gelatin) and pacele which is exclusively made of meat and tissue found on the head (save for the eyes and usually only made from lamb; addition of brain and tongue varies by local habit). Pacele is made by first boiling the head whole (to soften the meat and make it easier to peel off) and then peeling/scraping off all meat and tissue from it. A generous amount of garlic or garlic juice (mujdei) is then added and the dish is served warm.

Finally, there are many dishes in Romania that are based on whole offal, such as: grilled pig and cow kidney (served with boiled or steam cooked vegetables—usually peas and carrot slices); butcher's brain (usually lamb's brains, rolled in batter and deep-fried); tongue and olives stew (mostly done with cow tongue) and many others.

The Armenian traditional dish known as khash
Khash (dish)
Khash is a traditional dish in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, and Georgia...

 is a traditional meal with inexpensive ingredients, originating in the Shirak region. The main ingredient in khash is pig's or cow's feet, although other animal parts, such as the ears and tripe, may also be used. Formerly a nutritious winter food for the poor, it is now considered a delicacy, and is enjoyed as a festive winter meal.

In Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

 and Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, shkembe chorba is a widespread soup variety made from tripe
Tripe
Tripe is a type of edible offal from the stomachs of various farm animals.-Beef tripe:...

.

In Poland offal and blood are used to prepare kaszanka
Kaszanka
Kaszanka is a traditional blood sausage in Polish cuisine. It is made of a mixture of pig's blood, pig offal , and buckwheat kasza stuffed in a pig intestine...

. It's a traditional blood sausage (now only somewhat popular) similar to black pudding, made of a mixture of pig's blood, pig offal and buckwheat or barley usually served fried with onions or grilled.

In Russia, beef liver and tongue are considered valuable delicacies, which may be cooked and served on their own. Kidneys and brains are sometimes used in cooking. Head and collagen-rich extremities are used to make kholodets - a version of aspic
Aspic
Aspic is a dish in which ingredients are set into a gelatin made from a meat stock or consommé. Non-savory dishes, often made with commercial gelatin mixes without stock or consommé, are usually called gelatin salads....

, whereby these body parts are slowly boiled for several hours with meat and spices, removed and discarded, and the remaining broth is cooled until it congeals.

Latin America

In some Latin American countries, such as Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, almost all internal parts and organs are consumed regularly. Chicken hearts, gizzards and livers are usually eaten fried or boiled, either alone, or in broth
Broth
Broth is a liquid food preparation, typically consisting of either water or an already flavored stock, in which bones, meat, fish, cereal grains, or vegetables have been simmered. Broth is used as a basis for other edible liquids such as soup, gravy, or sauce. It can be eaten alone or with garnish...

. Brainstem is served as soup, sopa de médula. The tongue is boiled to make tacos. Eyes are eaten as tacos de ojo. Tripas (intestines) are also eaten, but normally in tacos rather than stews. A popular dish is the "pancita", a stew of beef stomach. Tripe
Tripe
Tripe is a type of edible offal from the stomachs of various farm animals.-Beef tripe:...

 is also used to make menudo
Menudo (soup)
The soup Menudo is a traditional Mexican dish, made with beef stomach in a clear broth or with a red chili base . Usually, lime, chopped onions, and chopped cilantro are added, as well as crushed oregano and crushed red chili peppers...

and mondongo. Cow's head is usually eaten as "Tacos de Cabeza", which include every part of the head: lips, cheeks, eyes, etc. Sheep's or goat's head are also eaten as part of the barbacoa, the "Montalayo" is dish made of chopped organs, spiced with Adobo
Adobo
Adobo is the immersion of raw food into a preparation, in the form of a stock , of different components, including paprika , oregano, salt, garlic, and vinegar — mixed according to the place of origin and the food with which it is intended to be used—primarily to preserve and enhance the flavor of...

, and cooked inside of the sheep stomach. This is known as "Menudo de Birria" in the Pacific states and is made with goat parts instead of sheep. Chopped carrots and potatoes can be added, as well as peas. Pork brains are considered a delicacy and are eaten in the deep fried Quezadillas de Sesos. Beef and pork liver are regularly eaten pan-fried with onion or breaded and deep-fried. The pork ears, feet and snout are pickled and eaten in tostadas. Elsewhere, as in Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, beef heart is used for anticuchos
Anticuchos
Anticuchos are popular and inexpensive dishes that originated in Peru, and popular also in other Andean states consisting of small pieces of grilled skewered meat....

- a sort of brochette
Brochette
In cooking, en brochette refers to food cooked, and sometimes served, on brochettes, or skewers. The French term generally applies to French cuisine, while other terms like shish kebab, satay, or souvlaki describe the same technique in other cuisines...

.

In Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, churrasco
Churrasco
Churrasco is a Portuguese and Spanish term referring to beef or grilled meat more generally, differing across Latin America and Europe, but a prominent feature in the cuisines of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Nicaragua, Uruguay, and other Latin American countries...

(barbecue) often includes chicken
Chicken
The chicken is a domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the Red Junglefowl. As one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, and with a population of more than 24 billion in 2003, there are more chickens in the world than any other species of bird...

 heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

s, roasted on a big skewer. The typical feijoada
Feijoada
Feijoada is a stew of beans with beef and pork, which is a typical from Brazilian Cuisine, is also typical in Angola, Mozambique, Goa, India and other former Portuguese colonies. In Brazil, feijoada is considered by many as the national dish...

sometimes contains pork trimmings (ears, feet and tail). Gizzard stews, fried beef liver and beef stomach stews used to be more popular dishes in the past, but are nonetheless still consumed. Buchada, a popular dish from the northeast of the country, consists of the diced organs of a goat, which are seasoned and then sewn inside the goat's stomach and boiled.

In Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 and Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

, the traditional asado
Asado
Asado is a term used both for a range of barbecue techniques and the social event of having or attending a barbecue in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and southern Brazil. In the former countries asado is also the standard word for barbecue. An asado usually consists of beef alongside various...

is often made along with several offal types (called "Achuras"), like chinchulines and tripa gorda (chitterlings
Chitterlings
Chitterlings are the intestines of a pig, although cattle and other animals' intestines are similarly used, that have been prepared as food. In various countries across the world, such food is prepared and eaten either as part of a daily diet, or at special events, holidays or religious...

), mollejas (sweetbreads) and riñón (cow's kidney
Kidney
The kidneys, organs with several functions, serve essential regulatory roles in most animals, including vertebrates and some invertebrates. They are essential in the urinary system and also serve homeostatic functions such as the regulation of electrolytes, maintenance of acid–base balance, and...

). Sesos (brains) are used to make ravioli
Ravioli
Ravioli are a traditional type of Italian filled pasta. They are composed of a filling sealed between two layers of thin egg pasta dough and are served either in broth or with a pasta sauce. The word ravioli is reminiscent of the Italian verb riavvolgere , though the two words are not...

 stuffing. Tongue is usually boiled, sliced and marinated with a mixture of oil, vinegar, salt, chopped peppers and garlic. Ccriadillas (testicles) are eaten mostly in cattle-raising regions.

Africa

Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

ns eat a lot of meat in general. Sausage is made from the small intestine of a goat, cow or sheep, stuffed with chilli and small chunks of meat, fatty meat, and blood (although some people prefer the bloodless kind). In Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

 it is commonly referred to as 'mutura' which is the Kikuyu name for it. Sheep's or goat's stomach is also stuffed in a similar way.

In the Kikuyu traditions, grilled goat/sheep kidneys are a delicacy usually reserved for young ladies, although today, anybody can consume it. Similarly, the tongue was reserved for men and the ears were to be eaten by little girls. The testicles were for the young men.
Liver is also consumed. The heads, lungs and hooves of animals are boiled to make soup and sometimes mixed with herbs for medicinal purposes.

In South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 offal is enjoyed by South Africans of diverse backgrounds. Due to the popularity of this dish, it is one of the few customs that white (especially Afrikaners) and black South Africans share.

Offal dishes in South Africa do not usually consist of any organs and are mostly limited to stomach skin, sheep's head, shin and very rarely brains. Sheep's head has gained many nicknames over the years such as 'skobo' (township colloquial term meaning head) and 'smiley' (referring to the expression of the head when cooked).

There are numerous recipes to cook the above mentioned items available on many South African websites. One of the more popular way to cook offal in South Africa is to cook it with small potatoes in a curry sauce served on rice. Alternatively it can served with samp or maize rice.

Asia

East Asia

In China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, many organs and animal-parts are used for food or traditional Chinese medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine refers to a broad range of medicine practices sharing common theoretical concepts which have been developed in China and are based on a tradition of more than 2,000 years, including various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage , exercise , and dietary therapy...

. Since pork is the most consumed meat in China, popular pork offal dishes include stir-fried pork kidneys with oyster sauce
Oyster sauce
Oyster sauce describes a number of sauces made by cooking oysters. The most common in modern use is a viscous dark brown condiment made from sugar, salt and water thickened with cornstarch, flavoured with a little oyster essence or extract and some versions may be darkened with caramel, though high...

, ginger and scallions, "五更肠旺 - Wu Geng Chang Wang" a spicy stew with preserved mustard, tofu
Tofu
is a food made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. It is part of East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and others. There are many different varieties of tofu, including fresh tofu and tofu...

, pork intestine slices and congealed pork blood cubes. "炸肥肠 - Zha Fei Chang," deep fried pork intestine slices and dipped in a sweet bean sauce is commonly offered by street hawkers. Pork tongue slices with salt and sesame oil is also a popular dish, especially in Sichuan province. Braised pork ear strips in soy sauce, five-spice powder
Five-spice powder
Five-spice powder is a mixture of five spices endemic to Chinese cuisine, but also used in other Asian cookery as well.-Formulae:The formulae are based on the Chinese philosophy of balancing the yin and yang in food. There are many variants. The most common is bajiao , cloves, cinnamon, huajiao ...

 and sugar is a common "cold plate" appetizer available as hawker food or in major local supermarkets. Stir-fried pork kidneys and/or liver slices with oyster sauce, ginger and scallions or in soups is a regular dish in southern provinces. Pork blood soup is at least 1,000 years old since the Northern Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

, when the quintessential Chinese restaurant and eateries became popular. Pork blood soup and dumplings, jiaozi
Jiaozi
Jiǎozi 餃子 or 饺子 , bánh bột luộc , gyōza , Mo:Mo: or Momocha म:म: or ममचा , or pot sticker is a Chinese dumpling widely spread to Japan, Eastern and Western Asia.Jiaozi typically consist of a ground meat and/or vegetable filling wrapped into...

, were recorded as food for night labourers in Kaifeng. In Shanghai cuisine
Shanghai cuisine
Shanghai cuisine , also known as Hu cai is a popular style of Chinese cuisine. The city of Shanghai itself does not have a separate and unique cuisine of its own, but modifies those of the surrounding provinces, is Jiangsu and Zhejiang coastal provinces. What can be called Shanghai cuisine is...

, the soup has evolved into the well-known “酸辣湯 — Suan La Tang”, Hot and Sour Soup, with various additional ingredients. As well as pork, the offal of other animals is used in traditional Chinese cooking, most commonly cattle, duck, and chicken.

Perhaps the best examples of taking offal dishes to culinary heights are seen in Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

, where all Chinese regional cuisines converge. For example, shops of the Cantonese
Cantonese
Cantonese is a dialect spoken primarily in south China.Cantonese may also refer to:* Yue Chinese, the Chinese language that includes Cantonese* Cantonese cuisine, the cuisine of Guangdong province...

 “燒味 — Siu mei
Siu mei
Siu mei is the generic name, in Cantonese cuisine, given to meats roasted on spits over an open fire or a huge wood burning rotisserie oven. It creates a unique, deep barbecue flavor that is usually enhanced by a flavorful sauce . Shops selling these meats are commonly found in Chinese-speaking...

”, Barbecue Delicacies, have achieved its foundation of influence here. Besides the popular cha siu and crispy skin pork, and all the other poultry, there are also the roasted chicken liver with honey, and the very traditional, and very expensive now, “金錢雞 — Gum Chin Gai”, another honey roasted dimsum that is a sandwich of a piece each of pork fat, pork/chicken liver, ginger and cha siu.

The use of offal in dim sum
Dim sum
Dim sum refers to a style of Chinese food prepared as small bite-sized or individual portions of food traditionally served in small steamer baskets or on small plates...

 does not stop there. In dim sum restaurants, the feet of chicken, ducks and pork are offered in various cooking styles. For example, the pork feet in sweet vinegar stew is a popular bowl now besides its traditional function as supplement for postpartum mother care. Young ginger stems, boiled eggs, and blanched pork feet are stew in sweet black rice vinegar for a few hours to make this “豬腳薑 — Jui Kerk Gieng”. “鴨腳紮 — Ap Kerk Jat” is a piece each of ham, shiitake mushroom and deep fried fish maw wrapped with dried bean curd sheet in the duck feet and steamed. The use of fish offal in Cantonese cuisine
Cantonese cuisine
Cantonese cuisine comes from Guangdong Province in southern China and is one of 8 superdivisions of Chinese cuisine. Its prominence outside China is due to the great numbers of early emigrants from Guangdong. Cantonese chefs are highly sought after throughout the country...

 is not limited to the maw. For example, there is the folksy dish of “東江魚雲煲 — Tung Gong Yu Wan Bo”, a casserole with the lips of fresh water large head fish; and shark fin soup
Shark fin soup
Shark fin soup is a popular soup item of Chinese cuisine usually served at special occasions such as weddings and banquets, or as a luxury item in Chinese culture. The shark fins provide texture while the taste comes from the other soup ingredients.There is controversy over the practice of shark...

.

In the more pragmatic folksy eateries, however, maximum utilization of the food resource is the traditional wisdom. The fish is completely made use of. Deep fried fish skin is a side dish in the fish ball
Fish ball
Fish balls are a common food in southern China and overseas Chinese communities made from surimi . They are also common in Scandinavia, where they are usually made from cod or haddock.-Terminology:...

 noodle shop. The intestine is steamed with egg and other ingredients in the Hakka cuisine
Hakka cuisine
Hakka cuisine is the cooking style of the Hakka people, who are primarily found in southeastern China , but also may be found in many other parts of China, as well as in the Chinese diaspora...

. The bones are wrapped in a cotton bag to boil in the soup for noodles.

Chaozhou cuisine shows its best manifestation also in Hong Kong. The goose meat, liver (foie gras
Foie gras
Foie gras ; French for "fat liver") is a food product made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened. This fattening is typically achieved through gavage corn, according to French law, though outside of France it is occasionally produced using natural feeding...

), blood, intestine, feet, neck and tongue are all major ingredients to various dishes. There is also the must-try soup, pork stomach with whole pepper corns and pickled mustard.

The use of beef organs is classically represented in noodle shops here. Each respectable operation has its own recipe for preparing the stews of brisket
Brisket
Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal. The beef brisket is one of the eight beef primal cuts. The brisket muscles include the superficial and deep pectorals. As cattle do not have collar bones, these muscles support about 60% of the body weight of standing/moving...

, intestine, lung, and varieties of tripe. The big pots are often placed facing the street and next to the entrance such that the mouth-watering aroma is the best draw for the shop′s business.

Contrary to a common Westerners' disgust for these dishes due to cultural unfamiliarity and sanitary concerns, these offal items are very well cleaned. The pork intestines' tough inner skin (which is exposed to bolus
Bolus (digestion)
In digestion, a bolus is a mass of food that has been chewed at the point of swallowing. Once a bolus reaches the stomach, digestion begins....

 and pre-fecal materials) is completely removed. Then, the intestine is exhaustively soaked, cleaned and rinsed. The nephrons of pork kidneys are skilfully excised, and the kidneys are soaked for several hours and cleaned.

The use of the pancreas
Pancreas
The pancreas is a gland organ in the digestive and endocrine system of vertebrates. It is both an endocrine gland producing several important hormones, including insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin, as well as a digestive organ, secreting pancreatic juice containing digestive enzymes that assist...

, liver
Liver
The liver is a vital organ present in vertebrates and some other animals. It has a wide range of functions, including detoxification, protein synthesis, and production of biochemicals necessary for digestion...

, kidney
Kidney
The kidneys, organs with several functions, serve essential regulatory roles in most animals, including vertebrates and some invertebrates. They are essential in the urinary system and also serve homeostatic functions such as the regulation of electrolytes, maintenance of acid–base balance, and...

, gall bladder, lung and even bronchus of various farm animals together with herbs in Chinese medicine have strong empirical theories and studies are being conducted to try to understand their nature in modern scientific terms. However, there are other strange offal usages in folk practice. Taoist and rural folk beliefs have their influence. The idea of essences and energy, heat and cold, are key. Snake wine with a live snake heart is thought to promote stamina due to the "essences of energy and heat", which is derived from a snake's attributes, such as aggressive behavior (fiery) and venom (energy). When bears were more common in the Chinese northeast, bears claw and dried bear offal were used as medicines, seen as a source of vitality. Dry deer antlers are still a common medicine, thought to provide "yang energy" to complement the male sex and the tail, "yin energy" for the female sex. Extractions of animal penises and testes are still believed to contribute to better male performance and those of the embryo and uterus to the eternal youth of the female. However, these are being marginalized as synthetic hormones get more popular and affordable.

The Cantonese consumed monkey brains, but this is now rare to non-existent, and primarily offered to rich, Western tourists.

In Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 chicken offal is often skewered and grilled over charcoal as yakitori
Yakitori
, grilled chicken, is commonly a Japanese type of skewered chicken. The term Yakitori can also refer to skewered food in general. Kushiyaki , is a formal term that encompasses both poultry and non-poultry items, skewered and grilled...

, to be served alongside drinks in an izakaya
Izakaya
An is a type of Japanese drinking establishment which also serves food to accompany the drinks. They are popular, casual places for after-work drinking.-Name:...

, a Japanese food-pub. Offal originating from cattle is also an ingredient in certain dishes (see yakiniku
Yakiniku
Yakiniku , meaning "grilled meat", is a Japanese term which, in its broadest sense, refers to grilled meat dishes. The present style of yakiniku restaurants are derived from the Korean restaurants in Osaka and Tokyo which were opened around 1945....

). However, Japanese culture mostly disdains offal use from large animals due to the lack of a long tradition of meat-eating, since Buddhist Japan was a largely vegetarian nation (except for the consumption of fish and seafood) prior to the late 19th century. During the Sino-Japanese War
Sino-Japanese War
There were two wars known as the Sino-Japanese War :* The First Sino-Japanese War between China and Japan , primarily over control of Korea....

, Japanese troops took pigs from Chinese farmers and slaughtered the animals only for the major muscles (no head, feet and fully disemboweled).

In Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

, offal usage is very similar to mainland China but less frequent. Grilled intestine slices and pork blood are both consumed. Headcheese prepared with pork head meat was quite popular in the past. Steamed pork intestines are easy to be found in traditional markets. The popular traditional Korean sausage called soondae is steamed pork small intestines filled with pork blood, seasoned noodles, and vegetables. Pork feet steamed in a special stock are considered delicacy in Korea. Beef stomach and intestines are still quite popular for cooking. It is not difficult to find grilled chicken hearts, gizzards, and feet in traditional street bars. Medicinal usages are also similar to mainland China and less common with offal uses.

Southeast Asia

In Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 cow and goat
Goat
The domestic goat is a subspecies of goat domesticated from the wild goat of southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. The goat is a member of the Bovidae family and is closely related to the sheep as both are in the goat-antelope subfamily Caprinae. There are over three hundred distinct breeds of...

 internal organs are popular delicacies, it can be fried, made into soto
Soto (food)
Soto, sroto, tauto or coto is a common dish, found in many regional variations of Indonesian cuisine. It is a traditional soup mainly composed of broth, meat and vegetables. There is no clear definition of what makes a soto, but normally many traditional soups are called soto, whereas foreign and...

 soups or grilled as satay
Satay
Satay , or sate, is a dish of marinated, skewered and grilled meat, served with a sauce. Satay may consist of diced or sliced chicken, goat, mutton, beef, pork, fish, other meats, or tofu; the more authentic version uses skewers from the midrib of the coconut palm frond, although bamboo skewers are...

 and almost all of the parts of the animal are eaten. Soto Betawi is known as the type of soto that uses various kinds of offals, while soto babat only uses tripes. Within Indonesian cuisine traditions, the Minangkabau cuisine (popularly known as "Padang food") are known for their fondnesss of offals, mostly are made into gulai
Gulai
Gulai is a type of food contained rich, spicy and succulent curry-like sauce. The main ingredients might be chicken, beef, mutton, various kinds of offals, fish and seafoods, and also vegetables such as cassava leafs and young jackfruit. The gulai sauce commonly have thick consistency with...

(a type of curry) such as gulai otak (brain), gulai babat (tripes), gulai usus (intestine), gulai sumsum (bone marrow), also fried hati (liver) and limpa (spleen). The cartilage, skin and tendon parts of cow legs is also uses as dishes called tunjang, kaki sapi or kikil also can be made as gulai or soto. Cow's stomach (babat) and intestine (iso) are popular, fried or in soup, in Javanese cuisine
Javanese cuisine
Javanese cuisine is the cuisine of Javanese people. In wider sense, Javanese cuisine might also refer to the cuisine of the whole people of Java Island, Indonesia; which also include Sundanese in West Java, Betawi people in Jakarta and Madurese on Madura Island off East Java...

. Cow's lung, called paru, coated with spices (turmeric and coriander) and fried is often eaten as a snack or side dish. Liver is also sometimes made into a spicy dish called rendang
Rendang
Rendang is a dish which originated from the Minangkabau ethnic group of Indonesia, and is now commonly served across the country. One of the characteristic foods of Minangkabau culture, it is served at ceremonial occasions and to honour guests...

. Cow or goat tongue is sliced and fried, sometimes in a spicy sauce, or more often beef tongue
Beef tongue
Beef tongue is the tongue of a cow. The human consumption of beef tongue dates back to the days of Paleolithic hunters, who preferred the fatty portions of the carcass including tongues, as well as organs, brains, feet, and marrow. Beef tongue is very high in fat, at almost 75% of its calories...

 are cooked as semur
Semur (Indonesian stew)
Semur is a type of meat stew that is processed in thick brown gravy commonly found in Indonesian cuisine. The main material used in semur gravy is shallots, onions, garlic, kecap manis , nutmeg and cloves...

 stew. Brain is sometimes consumed as soto or gulai. Cows and goat testicle
Testicle
The testicle is the male gonad in animals. Like the ovaries to which they are homologous, testes are components of both the reproductive system and the endocrine system...

s popularly called torpedo are consumed too as satay or soto. Due to its rarity the testicles are among the most expensive offals in Indonesia. Giblets
Giblets
Giblets is a culinary term for the edible offal of a fowl, typically including the heart, gizzard, liver, and other visceral organs.A whole bird from a butcher is often packaged with the giblets...

 of chicken and duck are commonly consumed too.

In Malaysia, cow or goat lung, called paru, coated in turmeric and fried is often served as a side dish to rice, especially in the ever popular nasi lemak
Nasi lemak
Nasi lemak is a dish sold in Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Riau Islands and Southern Thailand. The dish is considered the national dish and a national heritage of Malaysia. It is not to be confused with Nasi Dagang sold on the east coast of Malaysia or Terengganu and Kelantan although both dishes...

. Tripe is used in a few dishes either stir fried or in a gravy. Tripe is also consumed as satay
Satay
Satay , or sate, is a dish of marinated, skewered and grilled meat, served with a sauce. Satay may consist of diced or sliced chicken, goat, mutton, beef, pork, fish, other meats, or tofu; the more authentic version uses skewers from the midrib of the coconut palm frond, although bamboo skewers are...

. Liver is deep fried or stir fried in some vegetable dishes.

In Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, pig's organ soup
Pig's organ soup
Pig's organ soup is a Malaysian and Singaporean soup originating in Teochew/Chaozhou, China. The dish is a clear and refreshing soup; the reason why sometimes referred just as chhing-thng , served with other optional side dishes as well as rice...

 is a common feature of hawker centre
Hawker centre
A hawker centre or cooked food centre is the name given to open-air complexes in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Riau Islands housing many stalls that sell a variety of inexpensive food...

s. Due to Singapore's proximity and ethnic makeup, many of the items written for Indonesia and Malaysia above are also found in Singapore.

In the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, people eat practically every part of the pig, including snout, intestines, ears, and innards. Dinuguan
Dinuguan
Dinuguan Dinuguan Dinuguan (also called dinardaraan in Ilocano, tid-tad in Pampanga, sinugaok in Batangas, rugodugo in Waray, and sampayna or champayna in Northern Mindanao...

is a particular type of blood-stew (depending on region) made using pig intestines, pork meat and sometimes ears and cheeks usually with a vinegar base, and green chili peppers. Bopis (bópiz in Spanish) is a spicy Filipino dish made out of pork lungs and heart sautéed in tomatoes, chilies and onions. Isaw
Isaw
Isaw is a street food from the Philippines, made from barbecued pig or chicken intestines. The intestines are cleaned, turned inside out, and cleaned again, repeating the process several times. They are then either boiled, then grilled, or immediately grilled on sticks...

is another treat enjoyed mostly in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 which is a kebab made with pig's large intestine pieces barbecued and dipped in vinegar before eating. Crispy Pata
Pata
Pata may refer to:* Pata , an Indian weapon* Pata , a Japanese guitarist* Pata, Sulu, a Philippine municipality* Pata, a village in Apahida Commune, Cluj County, Romania...

is popular, consisting of pig's feet that have been boiled until tender, cut into pieces, and then deep fried.

South Asia

In Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, the goat's brain (maghaz), feet (paey), head (siri), stomach (ojhari or but), tongue (zabaan), liver (kalayji), kidney (gurda), udder (kheeri) and testicles (kapooray) as well as chickens' heart and liver are enjoyed. One popular dish, Kata-Kat, is a combination of spices, brains, liver, kidneys and other organs. Beef offal is relished with the above mentioned parts regularly used in food, especially fried delicacies.

In India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, lamb and goat brain sauted and stir fried with spices (often called bheja fry) is commonly available in all non-vegetarian restaurants. In Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

, a strong-smelling dish called rakti, made of heavily spice
Spice
A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor, color, or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth. It may be used to flavour a dish or to hide other flavours...

d porcine offal and cartilaginous
Cartilage
Cartilage is a flexible connective tissue found in many areas in the bodies of humans and other animals, including the joints between bones, the rib cage, the ear, the nose, the elbow, the knee, the ankle, the bronchial tubes and the intervertebral discs...

 tissue, is considered a homely indulgence by the local Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 community (observant Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s avoid pork products). However, the most popular offal is that of goats, especially in South India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

. Goat intestines are cooked into various spicy dishes, usually a dry curry with spices. Goat blood is also reduced to a dry stir fry with spices and coconut scrapings.

In Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

, a bull's or goat's brain (mogoj), feet (paya), head (matha), stomach skin (bhuri), tongue (jib-ba), liver (kolija), kidney and heart are delicacies. Chickens' heart, gizzard (gi-la) and liver are also enjoyed.

In Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

, a goat's brain (gidi), feet (khutta), head (tauko), stomach skin (bhudri), tongue (jibro), liver (kalejo), kidney, lungs(phokso), fried intestines (aandra), fried solidified blood (ragati) and to a lesser extent testicles are considered delicacies and are in very high demand in Dashain when families congregate and enjoy them with whiskey and beer. Chickens' heart and liver are also enjoyed but it is chicken's gizzards that are truly prized.

Middle East

In Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, lamb brain is used in nikhaat dishes and sometimes as a sandwich
Sandwich
A sandwich is a food item, typically consisting of two or more slices of :bread with one or more fillings between them, or one slice of bread with a topping or toppings, commonly called an open sandwich. Sandwiches are a widely popular type of lunch food, typically taken to work or school, or...

 filling. A tradition practiced less often today would be to eat fish eyes either raw, boiled, or fried. Another popular dish in the region surrounding is korouch which is rice-stuffed sheep intestine.

In Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, tongue (zabaan), feet (paa) or Kaleh Pacheh, sheep liver (jigar), heart (qalb), lungs (shosh), testicles (dombalan) and kidneys are used as certain types of kebab
Kebab
Kebab is a wide variety of meat dishes originating in Middle East and later on adopted by the Middle East, and Asia Minor, and now found worldwide. In English, kebab with no qualification generally refers more specifically to shish kebab served on the skewer...

and have a high popularity among people, as well as sheep intestines and stomach, though the latter is boiled. Sheep brains and tongue, alongside knee joints, as a formal breakfast dish called kale pache (lit. "head and leg"), are boiled in water with beans and eaten with traditional bread.

United States

Although the term offal is used in the United Kingdom, in the United States the terms variety meats or organ meats are used instead.

In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, the giblets of chickens, turkeys and ducks are much more commonly consumed than the organs of mammal
Mammal
Mammals are members of a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals characterised by the possession of endothermy, hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young...

s, except for the liver
Liver
The liver is a vital organ present in vertebrates and some other animals. It has a wide range of functions, including detoxification, protein synthesis, and production of biochemicals necessary for digestion...

, which is eaten quite commonly. Ground chicken livers, mixed with chicken fat
Chicken fat
Chicken fat is fat obtained from chicken rendering and processing. Of animal-sourced substances, chicken fat is noted for being high in linoleic acid, a beneficial omega-6 fatty acid. Linoleic acid levels are between 17.9% and 22.8%. It is often used in pet foods, and has also been used in the...

 and onions, called chopped liver, is a meal made with offal in the United States.

Some ethnic groups have traditional dishes made from lungs (such as lungen stew). Pepper Pot
Philadelphia Pepper Pot
Pepper Pot is a thick stew of beef tripe, vegetables, pepper and other seasonings. The origins of the stew are steeped in legend, with one story attributing the dish to Christopher Ludwick, baker general of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. According to this story, the...

 soup, frequently served in Philadelphia, is made from tripe
Tripe
Tripe is a type of edible offal from the stomachs of various farm animals.-Beef tripe:...

 (beef stomach).

Mammal offal is somewhat more popular in the American South, where some recipes include chitterlings
Chitterlings
Chitterlings are the intestines of a pig, although cattle and other animals' intestines are similarly used, that have been prepared as food. In various countries across the world, such food is prepared and eaten either as part of a daily diet, or at special events, holidays or religious...

, livers, brain, and hog maw
Hog maw
Hog maw is the stomach of a pig. More specifically, it is the lining of the stomach, it is very muscular and contains no fat, if cleaned properly. It can be found in soul food, Chinese, Pennsylvania Dutch, Mexican, Portuguese and Italian dishes...

. Scrapple
Scrapple
Scrapple, also known by the Pennsylvania Dutch name pon haus, is traditionally a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and flour, often buckwheat flour, and spices. The mush is formed into a semi-solid congealed loaf, and slices of the scrapple are then panfried before serving...

, sometimes made from pork offal, is somewhat common in the Mid-Atlantic US, particularly in areas with Amish
Amish
The Amish , sometimes referred to as Amish Mennonites, are a group of Christian church fellowships that form a subgroup of the Mennonite churches...

 communities. Fried-brain sandwich
Fried-brain sandwich
A fried-brain sandwich is generally a sandwich with sliced calves' brains on sliced bread. Thinly sliced fried slabs on white toast became ubiquitous on menus in St. Louis, Missouri, after the rise of the city's stockyards in the late 1880s, although demand there has so dwindled that only a handful...

es are a specialty in the Ohio River Valley. Traditional recipes for turkey gravy typically include the bird's giblets
Giblets
Giblets is a culinary term for the edible offal of a fowl, typically including the heart, gizzard, liver, and other visceral organs.A whole bird from a butcher is often packaged with the giblets...

. Rocky Mountain oysters
Rocky Mountain oysters
Rocky Mountain oysters are bull calf testicles used as food.They are often deep-fried after being peeled, coated in flour, pepper and salt, and sometimes pounded flat...

 or prairie oysters (beef testicles) are a delicacy eaten in some cattle-raising parts of the western US and Canada. Turkey
Turkey (bird)
A turkey is a large bird in the genus Meleagris. One species, Meleagris gallopavo, commonly known as the Wild Turkey, is native to the forests of North America. The domestic turkey is a descendant of this species...

 Fries
Fries
Fries as surname refer to:* Fries, originally meant an ethnic minority in the Netherlands, see Frisians and Friesland* Elias Magnus Fries , botanist* Thore M...

 (testicles) are served in restaurants in Nebraska
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

.

Australia

In Australia offal is most commonly consumed in meat pies
Australian meat pie
An Australian or New Zealand meat pie is a hand-sized meat pie containing largely diced or minced meat and gravy, sometimes with onion, mushrooms, or cheese and often consumed as a takeaway food snack. The pie itself is similar to the United Kingdom's steak pie.It is considered iconic in Australia...

 or in ethnic dishes.

Food standards require that products containing offal be labeled as such. The presence of brain, heart, kidney, liver, tongue or tripe must be declared either by specific type or more generally as offal. Other offal, such as blood, pancreas, spleen and thymus must be declared by name.

Health and food safety issues

The offal of certain animals is unsafe to consume:
  • The internal organs of the fugu
    Fugu
    is the Japanese word for pufferfish and the dish prepared from it, normally species of genus Takifugu, Lagocephalus, or Sphoeroides, or porcupinefish of the genus Diodon. Fugu can be lethally poisonous due to its tetrodotoxin; therefore, it must be carefully prepared to remove toxic parts and to...

     pufferfish
    Pufferfish
    Tetraodontidae is a family of primarily marine and estuarine fish of the Tetraodontiformes order. The family includes many familiar species which are variously called pufferfish, balloonfish, blowfish, bubblefish, globefish, swellfish, toadfish, toadies, honey toads, sugar toads, and sea squab...

     are highly toxic — in Japan, fugu can only be prepared by trained master chefs, working under extremely strict regulations, sanitary conditions, and licensing. Even a residual portion of fugu toxin can be fatal.
  • The liver of the polar bear
    Polar Bear
    The polar bear is a bear native largely within the Arctic Circle encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is the world's largest land carnivore and also the largest bear, together with the omnivorous Kodiak Bear, which is approximately the same size...

     is unsafe to eat because it is very high in vitamin A
    Vitamin A
    Vitamin A is a vitamin that is needed by the retina of the eye in the form of a specific metabolite, the light-absorbing molecule retinal, that is necessary for both low-light and color vision...

     and can cause hypervitaminosis A
    Hypervitaminosis A
    Hypervitaminosis A refers to the effects of excessive vitamin A intake.-Presentation:Effects include* Birth defects* Liver problems* Reduced bone mineral density that may result in osteoporosis* Coarse bone growths...

    , a dangerous disorder. This has been recognized since at least 1597 when Gerrit de Veer
    Gerrit de Veer
    Gerrit de Veer was a Dutch officer on Willem Barentsz' third voyage in search of the Northeast passage. De Veer kept a diary of the voyage and in 1597 was the first person to observe and record the Novaya Zemlya effect, and the first westerner to observe hypervitaminosis A caused by consuming...

     wrote in his diary that, while taking refuge in the winter in Nova Zemlya
    Novaya Zemlya
    Novaya Zemlya , also known in Dutch as Nova Zembla and in Norwegian as , is an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean in the north of Russia and the extreme northeast of Europe, the easternmost point of Europe lying at Cape Flissingsky on the northern island...

    , he and his men became gravely ill after eating polar-bear liver. Seal liver is similarly toxic.
  • Some animal intestines are very high in coliform bacteria
    Bacteria
    Bacteria are a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a wide range of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals...

     and need to be washed and cooked thoroughly to be safe for eating.
  • Nervous system tissue can be contaminated with TSE
    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy
    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies , also known as prion diseases, are a group of progressive conditions that affect the brain and nervous system of many animals, including humans. According to the most widespread hypothesis they are transmitted by prions, though some other data suggest an...

     prions, which cause bovine spongiform encephalopathy
    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy
    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy , commonly known as mad-cow disease, is a fatal neurodegenerative disease in cattle that causes a spongy degeneration in the brain and spinal cord. BSE has a long incubation period, about 30 months to 8 years, usually affecting adult cattle at a peak age onset of...

     (BSE, "mad cow disease"); in some jurisdictions these offal are classified as specified risk materials and are subject to special regulations.
  • Offal very high in purine
    Purine
    A purine is a heterocyclic aromatic organic compound, consisting of a pyrimidine ring fused to an imidazole ring. Purines, including substituted purines and their tautomers, are the most widely distributed kind of nitrogen-containing heterocycle in nature....

    s can precipitate an acute attack of gout
    Gout
    Gout is a medical condition usually characterized by recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis—a red, tender, hot, swollen joint. The metatarsal-phalangeal joint at the base of the big toe is the most commonly affected . However, it may also present as tophi, kidney stones, or urate...

     in someone with the condition.
  • Offal can be very high in cholesterol and saturated fats, including kidneys, stomach, intestines, heart, tongue and liver.

  • The practice of feeding raw offal to dogs on farms and ranches can spread echinococcosis
    Echinococcosis
    Echinococcosis, which is often referred to as hydatid disease or echinococcal disease, is a parasitic disease that affects both humans and other mammals, such as sheep, dogs, rodents and horses. There are three different forms of echinococcosis found in humans, each of which is caused by the larval...

    , a potentially fatal parasitic disease of animals and humans.

External links

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