The poor, downtrodden, much ignored lunchmeat


Poor lonely liverwurst sitting there in the corner of the deli case, wishing for somebody to love it with a slice of swiss and generous helping of mustard on a nice marble rye.

I think it’s that word “liver” in the name that puts people off, despite there being only being maybe 10%-20% of actual liver in the product.

I suppose if McDonalds served a McLiver and fries, it might be hip and people would eat it without thinking.

But sadly, no.

Liverwurst and its lonely brother braunschweiger get the fuzzy end of the lollipop.

I, myself, am a HUGE fan of braunschweiger (owing to the partial German heritage of both my parents), but when I eat it, my loving, studiously liver-avoiding husband refuses to give me a smooch for quite some time after consumption.

This is obviously a big point of consideration.

So if it comes down to smooches or sandwiches, I’ll take the smooches and leave the braunschweiger to the “only very rarely” category.

However…that being said, we have a well understood agreement that whenever we manage to find ourselves in a real deli (like Molinari or Carnegie) I will order a chicken liver salad, no questions asked.

These sorts of negotiations keep our marriage humming along, I think.


By the by, in case you are wondering why I am opining about liverwurst? It’s because it was the word of the day on my WordBook Dictionary iPhone app.

I had open that app today so I could look up a ten cent college-level word that my friend NewMexiKen threw out there on Twitter. It was a doozy!

And then I got lost in thoughts of lunch.

To you, that may look like a brown lump, but to me, that’s a lump of tasty goodness!!

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  • Anonymous

    When I was a kid, some 60 (wow) years ago, my grandfather would butcher a hog for Christmas. It was a great family time wherein relatives would come from as far away as Barstow. The processing of the meat consisted, largely, of rendering the fat out of the hog meat. The fat was rendered in a huge, copper pot that was heated over an open fire. Think about the classic cannibal cartoons showing a huge pot over a large fire.

    The organ meats, including the liver were just thrown into the fire and left there all day as all the fat was rendered. At the end of the day, the liver was rescued from under the pot and served to all the children. I remember that that liver was heavily charred on the outside. The inside, with a little bit of char, was the part we ate. The flavor was like candy. Sweet, liver-y and smoothe textured. Needless to say, the liver didn't last past that day.

    The flavor of liverwurst reminds me of those good times.


  • Jennifer

    I love braunschweiger. I justify it by brandishing the health benefits of liver, but I'm really just all about the yumminess.

  • Elise

    I love braunschweiger, too. Well, OK, I should qualify by saying sometimes I crave it, and at those times, nothing else will do. Liver. Mmm! Garlic. Mmm! What's not to love, I ask you?

    I also love pate. My best friend's dad made the best pate on the planet. He passed away a few years ago, and we have his recipe, but he had to have been holding out a tiny bit when he wrote it out. Because no matter what one does, it's not the same. God, it was good when he made it.

  • New Mexican

    Sortta like potted meat. I like both, but have to hide when I do eat them

  • Karen Fayeth

    Ephraim – that is a really beautiful story. I'm so glad you shared it! I'll remember it every time I eat liverwurst now! :)

  • Karen Fayeth

    Jennifer, Elise and New Mexican – Ok, I am really pleasantly surprised!

    I expected people to give me the "ew, gross!" in response.

    You are all clearly people of fine taste and class!!

    Elise – oh, I know it's so not PC to say anymore…but I loooove pate. Not that I ever have it anymore, but when I did…yuuuuuuuuum.

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