ingredient

Remember the offal

st.lawrenceI have never truly considered myself a picky eater. Born into a Portuguese/Canadian family, I was surrounded with a great variety of delicious dishes that satisfied my adventurous taste buds. I spent countless hours watching my mother tirelessly prepare meal after meal. Making “dinner and lunches” was her job, and she was a workoholic.
I can not recall my favorite meals as a kid, partly due to disorder I have acquired, which I refer to as gold fish syndrome; basically meaning that I have a very bad memory. But also, I had so many meals that I associate with growing up because then, like now, I live to eat. I actually do. I’m a recipe and product developer so creating and tasting food is not only a necessity to live, it’s a necessity to pay my rent.
There is one ingredient however, that stands out to me today, and it brings me right back to my mothers’ kitchen table every time I smell it. Liverwurst. Not exactly a common ingredient found on urban menus today, in 2014, but was certainly considered quite in vogue back in 1988. I used to demolish my liverwurst sandwich on white bread, while crunching on a pickle and watching the Flintstones during my lunch break. Surely, when I returned to school, the other kids would have appreciated my smelly garlic breath, but that is beside the point! And then, all of a sudden, the year 1992 arrived and to my dismay, the liverwurst sandwich was a thing of the past!

As an adult, my diet is very different than that of my 5 year old self. I have sworn off basically all forms of meat besides chicken and fish, for nutritional, environmental and pity related reasons, tbh . And though I am a fairly fearless chef in the kitchen, after a while, no matter what you do with chicken, it all tends to taste the same. I found myself losing faith and becoming lacklustre when preparing my lunches for the coming day, until one afternoon when I visited the St.Lawrence market in downtown Toronto and stumbled upon chicken liver pate. Mind you, the display was not huge, tucked somewhere between the plethora of cheeses. The small fridge that contained various liverwurst sausages could have comfortably fit into the back seat of my civic, but I saw great opportunity. As someone who is limited when it comes to iron and vitamin B12 sources, liverwurst is a great option. A quarter cup of liverwurst contains about 1/3rd of my daily requirement of iron, which is used in the body to make red blood cells and transport oxygen to the muscles. This promotes a healthy immune system and keeps me awake, all afternoon, which is typically my preferred nap time. Of course, there are many different kinds of liverwurst, but most are made from the livers of pigs, cows, chicken or fowl. Though, on this afternoon at the market, I did spy a caribou fig offering. Not being one for game however, I chose the chicken which was pleasantly spiced with black peppercorns, garlic, thyme and allspice. Finally, liverwurst is really easy to prepared, simply spread it on a Carr’s water cracker or dress it up with a ginger and red pepper jelly, if you like a little heat. Liverwurst is fairly high in cholesterol, so even though it is a great source of protein and makes a quick snack, it is recommended that you don’t consume it on the daily. Unless of course, you want to!

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