I've always found it funny that food; a concept that today means pleasure, beauty, and fulfillment, has some of the most disgusting sounding words and terms in it's lexicon. What I will do with this series is find some of the more grotesque culinary words and let you know what they mean so they won't disgust you as much if you were to ever come across them in print or conversation. So lets begin with one of my all time favorites: meat emulsion.
Meat emulsion is where the idea for this series came from. When I was in culinary school, I came across this term and burst out laughing at the nastiness of the way it sounds. I really don't mind the two words separate. Meat.... good, emulsion.....good; so why is it that when they are put together it sounds like a really bad title for a porno and what the hell is it?
A meat emulsion is for a lack of more scientific terms is a stable mixture of meat and fat. Gross you say? Disgusting you say? Well, have you ever had a hot dog? How about a sandwich with any number of meat products on it (turkey, bologna, ham)? Well, then you have eaten a meat emulsion.
A selection of cured meats at Sophia Place in Fells Points Broadway Market
Now if I told you I was fixing you a meat emulsion for dinner, you would politely (or not) tell me to fuck off, but if I said "hey, I'm making liverwurst, then you.......... yeah, I know... fuck off. Let me try another comparison instead.
Think of a mayonnaise (which is a stable emulsion) then you get the idea of the meat emulsion. It is when meat, fat, and a liquid are mixed together to become homogenized. This usually happens at a cold temperature because if the meat emulsion gets over a certain temperature, as with a mayonnaise, it will break. I have had a meat emulsion break on me and trust me, it is not a pretty experience. Think of meaty sponge surrounded by oil inside of a plastic bag. Got it? Yeah exactly, it's fucking gross.
Now think of a really good sausage sandwich with peppers and onions, or think of sitting at the ballpark, eating a hot dog (that you brought in) and watching the orioles lose while having the time of your life. That's what a good meat emulsion can do for you. From breakfast to dinner, the good ol' meat emulsion will be there to make you smile.
I will be getting into sausage making at some point in the future. I will go more into the making of a meat emulsion. For now though, it's better that you know what it is and to not be afraid of it. It is a lot easier than you think to make, as well as more satisfying to eat. So get ready to make you own delicious meat emulsions. Probably the greatest unsavory culinary term I know (for now).
If you have suggestions for unsavory culinary terms, I am open to suggestion.
As always, cheers everyone.