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Thursday, February 14, 2013

"They Actually Eat That" Special: Hearts.

Oh, it's Valentine's Day! How joyous! Love is in the air, couples are getting it on, and cheesy hearts are plastered everywhere. For those of us who want a more intense Valentine's Day, however, there are dishes of actual hearts waiting to be tried:

Yes, like almost every other organ, humans have found ways of eating hearts. Deer hearts, pork hearts, beef hearts- you name it, someone has taken out its heart and found a way to cook it. It is more or less universal to eat most parts of whatever animals are around, so there are a million ways to cook it.

So, why is there a sort of revulsion when it comes to eating something's heart? For ages, the heart was considered the core of something's being. Now we know that the brain does all that, but the cultural connotation remains.  It is still not a very popular item at grocery stores; check your local butcher instead.

A lot of people attempting to eat heart worry that it will taste like liver. If cooked properly (i.e. slowly) and cleaned thoroughly, the sanguine taste can be all but completely washed out. It's very cheap, mineral-rich meat, and, as stated repeatedly, can be cooked with almost any culinary region in mind. If you find you like heart, don't be afraid to try other organs as well; these are all very cheap cuts and good if you're saving pennies. 

Now, has someone out there eaten a human heart? Yes, but I wouldn't expect to see it on many menus. Cannibalism is frowned upon by many societies, but those that do partake in it may well enjoy heart meat on a symbolic level- absorbing the other person's essence, if you will. Otherwise, never take the phrase "eat your heart out" literally. Enjoy your Valentine's Day!


  1. Chickens used to come with their edible innards included. I don't recall anyone balking at eating the heart, although it usually went to Mom. Her tastes were quite eclectic. They would also be chopped and used in the stuffing.

  2. I guess if you are what you eat...