The various parts of a meat animal which are used as food but which are not skeletal muscle. The term literally means “offfall”, or the pieces which fall from a carcass when it is butchered. Originally the word applied principally to the entrails. It now covers insides includingthe heart, liver, and lungs (collectively known as the pluck), all abdominal organs and extremities: tails, feet, and the head including jowls, brains andtongue. In the USA the expression “organ meat” or “variety meat” is used instead… Offal from edible birds and poultry is usually referred to as giblets(nothing beats a good New England giblet gravy on Thanksgiving)… Another archaic English word for insides, especially those of deer, was ‘umbles’, a term which survives in the expression “to eat humble pie”, meaning to be apologetic or submissive…. The taste and texture of offal depends on the particular organ, and on the species and age of animal from which it was harvested from. Generally speaking, offal from young calves is held to be the best, providing large organs of fine flavor and texture (sautéed calves liver and onions- yum)…. Heritage breed lamb offal is also good, but sheep, pig, and ox offal tends to be coarse in flavor and texture….. Although some pig liver is on the sweet side, especially if the liver is from a free foraging pasture raised heritage hog… Offal does not keep well so must either be prepared and cooked quite soon after slaughter or turned into a product which does keep…. The type of offal used in any given culture depends on the favored meat animal, which may in turn depend on religious dietary laws….. Muslim countries use a tremendous amount of lamb offal.…. The Chinese have numerous ways of dealing with organs from their big black pigs….. Offal is a wonderful source of protein, and some organs, notably the liver and kidneys, are very valuable nutritionally….. In most parts of the world, especially the less developed countries, it is valued accordingly. In the English-speaking world, however, the pattern is different. In North America, there has been and still exists a squeamish attitude toward most variety meats. In Britain, where there used to be no qualms about eating offal, overt consumption has declined in the last half of the 20th century, although most offal is in fact still eaten in processed foods where it is not clearly ‘visible’ to the consumer- hot dog anyone......? Squeamish attitudes may be explained on various grounds. Heads and feet remind consumers too directly that the food is of animal origin. Ambivalence about eating certain bits of an animal’s anatomy, such as testicles, is expressed through the use of euphemistic names like swingin’ steaks, fries and rocky mountain oysters to mention a few (dare one eat rocky mountain oysters on the half shell)…..! Some internal offal has surreal shapes and strong flavors, which are not to everyone’s taste. The meat of feet and ears is characterized by textures which are gelatinous and crunchy at the same time, a combination which is generally disliked in the western world, although appreciated in the Orient… I love slaughter time, I make ‘the listener sandwich’- (a crispy pigs ear between two pieces of white peasant bread with a splash of homemade coca cola barbecue sauce)…. A true gastronomic delight out of the two pig ears that generally go to waste…… Roasted snout can be crispy and gelatinous at the same time, leaving ones taste buds and palate in a wonderful place….