Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 364

Souse: Wow, so I'm down to my next-to-last day of new food! I'll save most of my emotional sentiment for tomorrow, but I really am amazed that I was able to come this far. I don't know which element of the blog was hardest: the shopping or the daily writing commitment. The eating was the easy part (well, except for yesterday and Friday). It's been a massive self-imposed task that has often left me frustrated, and I'd be lying if I said there weren't several times that I wanted to throw in the towel. Despite that, I'm really glad that I did this - it's allowed me to achieve much more than I ever thought possible.

During a recent visit to my neighborhood Kroger, I noticed something in the meat department that several people had recommended I try: souse. I wasn't entirely sure what it was, but based on what I knew, it was a head cheese-like substance made from pork parts. Anyone who reads my blog knows how much I love stuff like this, so when I saw this version made by the Lee company on sale (only $1.29!), I figured it was time to finally try it. Appearance-wise, it reminded me of the bologna-style "olive and pickle loaf" that's easily found in most delis.
Since I was already past the expiration date (and almost past my blog expiration date), I gave this one a shot early this morning before I headed out of town for the day. Not exactly how I wanted to start my day, but since I was going to be unplugged for most of the trip, I didn't want to take any chances. The package ingredients included pork snouts (yum?), water, pickle relish, corn syrup, and a lengthy list of chemicals and preservatives. If hot dogs are supposedly as bad as cigarettes, souse must be a Marlboro Red.

I couldn't figure out if it was pre-cooked or not, so I heated up a pan and threw a slice in just to be safe. Once it touched the heat, it immediately turned into a jelly-like liquid, so I guess that answered my question. I grabbed a fresh slice from the package and cut off a small bite, and I have to say that it wasn't good at all. I like head cheese, but this was more like thick-cut vinegared bologna that had inedible chunks of fat/gristle mixed throughout. I got through one bite before giving up, which was not what I was expecting with this one. Apparently, my luck with eating tasty food for the last couple days of this project is not good.
In case you were wondering what souse actually is, Wikipedia describes it as "pickled meat and trimmings usually made from pig's feet, chicken feet or cow's tongue to name a few. The cooked meat or trimmings are cut into bite sized pieces and soaked in a brine made of water, lime juice, cucumbers, hot pepper, salt and specially prepared seasonings." I know Holeman and Finch in Atlanta serves their own version, so I bet I'd be better off trying it there. I love any excuse to visit H&F, so maybe I'll do that soon.

One more day left, folks......

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