Does your country's cuisine include other parts of the animal?


It has often been joked, that the French and the Chinese have one thing in common: they believe that if you're going to eat the animal, you should not waste any part of it.

I'm more familiar with Chinese cuisine, so I'll speak on that. The Chinese don't like to waste anything - wastefulness is considered a sign of bad character. Even though Buddhism strongly favors vegetarianism, the Buddhist practice is: if you have to kill any other species to feed yourself, you might as well eat all of it, as a sign of respect to the animal that gave up its life for you.Benefits of eating offal? Offal is protein-rich. When wolves kill in the wild, they go for the organs first.
It also contains a lot of collagen, which studies have shown improves skin texture, bone health, and has anti-aging benefits.

Haggis Pie
Haggis Pie


The French eat foie gras (duck/goose liver), tete de veau (veal's brains), langue de boeuf (cow's tongue), tetines (cow udder), and pรขtรฉ (which contains liver).

The Chinese have pork intestine soup, fish head noodle broth, "phoenix claws" (spicy chicken feet), and picked pig's feet (traditionally fed to mothers on consignment).

Both cuisines also feature tripe.

But they aren't the only ones eating offal.

For the Brits, pig Trotters (feet) is a common working class dish, although they've been appearing in more posh restaurants. Black pudding, of course.

Further up north, the Scots have haggis (sheep heart, liver, and lungs).

The Spanish (and the French) eat cocks comb (a chicken's comb).

The Italians eat liver with onions. The Germans have liverwurst. The Mexicans have tripe tacos.

Ironically, as the country that eats the MOST meat, America doesn't eat much in the way of offal. Why? Polls show offal has a socioeconomic stigma in the US: Many Americans think (or thought) organ meats are what people in poor countries eat. (which is true).

What SOME Americans don't know is that the hot dog they're eating can contain as much as 85% organ meat.


Hot dog
Hot dog

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Most Helpful Guys

  • I'm Irish and years ago yes people, particularly working class ate offal meat. In Bulgaria where i live, they eat a lot of offal meat. Guts ( intestines) sheep's heads, pig's heads, liver, tripe etc.
    In many Western countries the reason for the decline in eating offal meat is because people no longer use the local butcher but buy their meat in supermarkets where the more expensive, choicer cuts of meat are offered for sale.

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    • I always try to support a local butcher establishment if I can find one. Problem is, they're becoming rare.

    • Even in supermarkets here they offer packaged offal meat for sale. Much prefer to use a real butchers, plenty to choose from here.

    • That's good. At least you guys still have a robust butcher scene.

  • traditionally meat was such a rare treat that all parts were used in the west too, not just france and as a veggie myself i at least respect that notion more than todays trend for just taking 'prime cuts'and wasting the rest. especially given how much strain on the enviroment the meat industry causes

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    • Yes. I've met chefs who use whole chickens to make chicken stock and then they just want to bin the leftover chicken meat. That to me is very wasteful.

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    • Oh, yes. Definitely. I can't remember the exact stat, but something along the lines of "If everyone in the world would just go meatless for one day per week, we'd be saving a few billion animals that week." Or some such. I follow a mostly Asian-style diet, so I don't eat a lot meat, but trying to get my friends to cut down on their meat consumption is like pulling teeth. I don't feel comfortable eating a meal without vegetables, but they have the opposite problem and don't feel comfortable eating a meal without any meat.

    • its not even about saving animals... infact its more about reducing demand to breed so many but yeah thats where vegan Monday came from... personally i haven't eaten an animal in 36 years and even then meat wasn't something we had with every main meal

Most Helpful Girl

  • Well if I'm not wrong these are made with the part of the pork that are difficult to use

    Does your country's cuisine include other parts of the animal?

    And here in Spain it depends on the house, but we usually use almost all parts of chicken or pig. My mom sometimes cooks liver she loves it however I can eat it but the flavor is strong. Some people like to eat chicken hearts, or at least is a product on butcher shops.

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    • Yes. Gummy bears are made from gelatin, which made by boiling down the skin, cartilage, and bones of animals - basically, the meat industry's left-over.

      Oh! At least you still have dedicated butcher shops in Spain. Their numbers are diminishing in places like UK, Australia, and the US.

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What Girls & Guys Said

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  • I think we use a lot of the spare meats for things like dog and cat food.

    But honestly I'm not sure why eating organs just feels icky to me, I guess it's a culture thing. I see these things on the shelves at Walmart so some people must eat them, but I personally haven't tried much outside of "regular" meats.

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    • I'm surprised Walmart sells them.
      Having said that, most of these organs and body parts are also exported to other countries, chicken feet to China, chicken cocks comb to Spain, etc.

  • My mother makes home made chicken soup that includes generous helpings of giblets, which includes the heart, liver, and gizzard. We fight over them. Some places serve Rocky Mountain Oysters which are cow balls. Never tried them myself. If I ever had balls in my mouth they were still attached to someone living.

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    • Can she make the gizzards soft? I find that no matter how you cook 'em, they're always a little 'spongy' (not that that's a bad thing). Well, at least you're one up on me. I've never had a living person's balls in my mouth before. I'm udder shit at that.

  • My Russian grandmother quite often cooked with liver and I can say that I absolutely cannot stand the taste and smell of it ๐Ÿ˜… strangely enough, I do like the German liverwurst.
    There's also a russian fish soup called Ucha which broth is made with a fishes head and tail.

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    • What did she cook the liver with?
      And how? Stir-fry? Braise? In the oven?

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    • I'm sure Grandma tried to make you eat some anyway :)

    • Yep, she sure did. "Eat child, it's healthy and good for you!". A typical grandmother ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜‚

  • We eat liver, kidneys, heart, tripe, and plenty of sausages, which contain these items and more.

    We don't eat intestine, lungs, udders, ears etc, although such things are for sale, to give to dogs.

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    • I think the pork intestines might be used for sausage casings though. But yes, I don't think you guys would eat it on its own.

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    • Well, it depends which intestine you're eating, the small intestines or the large intestines. The large intestines have more fatty tissue inside, which makes them taste better. But even then - and assuming that they've been cleaned properly - the taste might best be described as a little... gamey. That's about it. In Chinese cuisine, texture is prized just as much as taste, so in the case of intestines, it's prized for that chewy texture.

      You probably either ate it as part of a peppery, noodle broth dish or braised in some sort of dark salty/sweet (maybe spicy) sauce. The braised one would, by virtue of cooking nature, taste a little softer, but you'd still get the chewy in there.

      But yes, on it's own, it doesn't taste like much.

    • Heart to me is a different story unlike say kidney's or liver the Heart is a muscle

  • The first thing that comes to my mind is "blutwurst" a sausage that is made with coagulated blood. It's german. Or at least I think it's from here.

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  • Here in the U. K. we eat livers, kidneys, hearts, sheep intestines (sausage skins), testicles, etc. Also we have Black Pudding made from oatmeal and blood, and Haggis, which is similar. We also eat pigs trotters, calf's feet, lamb or cows tongues tongue, etc.

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  • Liver with onions is a classic, but as I've grown older I've slowly cut out about 90% of my meat consumption. I don't want to have to kill other animals to survive, plus rotting meat in your stomach is somehow very unsettling. 100% plant based is the goal by the end of the year.

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  • Nothing is wasted in my country. We even keep sheep skin for decoration or warmth during winter

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  • I was born to a Buddhist family but we don't really eat every part of chicken/mutton. I've eaten kidneys though, but never heart, brains, tongues, feets and stuff.

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  • Well for example
    American cow chicken. etc was not valuabe but they find us being able to value it more. So cow.. etc are mor useful.

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  • Dutch cuisine for a major part consists of deep fried crap, which tend to be made out of the cheapest pieces of meat of a pig, so likely organs and the lot of it as well

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  • My country does, but I don't, because I'm a vegetarian.
    Even if I weren't a vegetarian, I would never eat offal, because it looks disgusting, I can't stand the taste and smell of it, plus it has lots of bad cholesterol and triglycerides.

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  • Yes it does, but I don't eat it, I'm kinda picky when it comes to meat, I eat chicken and fish most of the time, and occasionally some pork, that's it.

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  • Yes. Nothing is, or should be, wasted. Although I don't eat every part of the animal.

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  • Not especially, when we get a turkey for Thanksgiving we give the leftover organs to the cats

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  • Yeah, in Egypt we eat cow's heart, and tounge and lever

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  • The backwoods brethren where I live have an Annual Turkey Testicle Festival. Really just about the only thing Iโ€™ll eat is Lingua.

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  • We eat everything here.. no wasting

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  • only SOME hot dogs do
    its the cheap ones

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  • Inuit don't waste anything

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  • Chinese eat the penis from several animals.

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  • Not that I know of.

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