Day 5 - Head Cheese (Eastern Europe)
Yeah. Not my favorite. Bland meaty flavor. Texture... you hardly ever notice it until you'd rather not. Here is where I should call your attention to the translucent portions of this deli delight. That's gelatin. This lunchmeat jiggles.
This variety is Russian and is made primarily from tongue...
You just took a second look at the photo, didn't you? It's obvious now, isn't it? Tongue, sliced & boiled, suspended in gelatin. Even in post-Soviet Russia, lunchmeat tastes you!
Once upon a time, European peasants couldn't afford to waste meat. So, they learned to boil animal heads until the meat fell off. Then, they learned to preserve it as aspic by suspending the bits in gelatin.
The British call their version "Brawn," the Italians make a delicious one called Coppa di Testa, and the Germans call it Sulze, which is where the Pennsylvania German (aka PA Dutch) word "Souse" comes from. Souse is "popular" in parts of Pennsylvania and the American South.
Vas, can you give us the Russian name? Would this fall under the category of Holodetz, or is there some other name for this stuff?
It's not as bad as it looks, especially since the sandwich I made tasted mostly of mustard. But that texture...