My Quest to Make Chicken Liver Acceptable
Chopped liver or liver in general seems to be one of those things that unless you grew up eating it, you’re just not a fan. I was quite a picky eater growing up, but it was always around for the holidays. Now that I eat pretty much everything (except spiral ham), I love the stuff — as you may have been able to tell thanks to my how-to Caselulla video — ith the mineral-packed funkiness and richness … best on grilled bread with a sprinkle of good salt on top.
So, seeing Mark Bittman’s New York Times piece today about French Pâté, essentially Frenchified chopped liver seasoned by a non-Jew — face it, there ain’t much punch in traditional Jewish food — and a breeze to make. Perfect, right?
Not so much.
The quandary I often find myself in is that the things I love as appetizers — chopped liver included — aren’t the easiest sells at cocktail parties. So, making it is generally a futile effort and I’m left with a pint of cholesterol-bomb for myself.
I’m sure many people would like it — love it, even — if the word liver wasn’t in there. The minute “liver” is uttered, you stand to lose 80% of the general eating public. So, my thought is that the national chicken liver association or whatever board there might be out there needs a new marketing plan, a la “sweetbreads.” Mmmm, sweetbreads — that delicious thing that chefs and foodies love … which is really thymus glands. At the core, it’s a brilliant job at masking what they really are and getting people to feel less squirmy about chowing down on their offal-y scrumptiousness.
So let’s pick a new name for chicken liver in the hopes that people will be a bit more flexible with it. What do we say? If thymus glands can be “sweetbreads,” should chicken livers be something like “funcakes” or “cuteloafs”?
Let’s do this, people.