In 1979, concerned American scientist Calvin W. Schwabe wrote a cookbook titled the Unmentionable Cuisine with hopes that more people would abandon their narrow diets and enjoy foods they normally wouldn’t eat. Case in point: offal.
Offal describes the entrails and internal organs which fall off the carcass during the butchering process. It consists the heart, liver, lungs, all abdominal organs, tails, feet, and head including brains, eyes and tongue.
The author, a former member of the International Committee for the Anthropology of Food and Food Habit, worried that humans “rarely eat anything more than the muscle tissues of animals, and that 40% of all the beef we consumed was in the form of mechanically ground, homogenous paste called hamburger”.
In the 36 years since Unmentionable Cuisine was published, some of the then-unmentionables have been accepted, though not widely, as part of our daily cuisine.
While offal may be considered unattractive in our culture, in others they are prized dishes.
The Chinese have many ways of dealing with organs from a pig, the Italians have dedicated restaurants that serve only the quinto quatro (the fifth quarter), and many of the defining French delicacies are offal, be it ris de veau (sweetbreads), foie de veau (calf liver) or foie gras (goose liver).
While we can’t take you to France to enjoy offal at its finest, we can bring excellent offal dishes to you.
As a celebration to mark the end of the Star2 Monthly Challenge #Squealmeal, we are throwing The Offaly Good Feast and you are invited.
The seven-course offal degustation dinner is presented by Chef Jean Michel Fraisse of The French Culinary School in Asia, and to make things more interesting, he is creating a mystery menu for the night. That’s just to take the fear away from eating offal, says the chef.
“Most of the time, when I tell a diner there’s kidney in the pie, for instance, they would go, ‘no thank you, I don’t eat offal’. But when they are told after, they would be pleasantly surprised at how good it tasted, and would actually order it again.”
So you won’t know if that is an eyeball that you’re chewing, or a spleen that you’re slurping or a tongue that you’re biting until all is revealed at the end of the event. Or perhaps we would get lucky and be served foie gras.
But what we do know is that it will be a fine and tasty dinner, and it will be pork-free.
Event: The Offaly Good Feast
Date: Dec 9, 2015
Venue: The French Culinary School in Asia, Menara IMC, 8th Floor, Annexed Block, 8, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur
Price: RM150 per pax
Limited seats available. To make reservations, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call Star2 at 03-7967 1388 ext 1318.