Michigan’s ‘Grossest Food That People Love’ Isn’t That Gross
Another Thrillist trip through the Union fails as far as Michigan is concerned, because I'm not sure this is really gross.
Even people from other states eat this...some probably more than we do...but it does raise another question...
The Thrillist article 'Every State's Grossest Food' has some gross things on it, even coming from a guy like me who is apt to eat darn near anything. (Just ask anyone in this office).
I've eaten Arizona mesquite pods (slimy, but good if well seasoned), Florida Gator Tail (it does taste just like chicken, if you left your chicken soaking all night in seas water), and Indiana Brain Sandwich (Meat is meat, right?).
Louisiana Nutria sounds a little gamey, and I'll definitely pass on Montana's Rocky Mountain Oysters, but what they've listed for Michigan is kind of lame and somewhat insulting.
Michigan's entry on the Thrillest Gross Food Tour is listed as 'Some s*** your neighbor killed'.
In other words, the result of our favorite pastimes of hunting and fishing.
If you're a stressed millenial hipster from Brooklyn, who has never been past 109th Avenue, I could understand the 'Eew!' factor, but anybody from any other state is probably thinking, 'So?'
The examples they give under 'S*** your neighbor killed include Venison Chili, Whitefish Dip and Possum Jerky.
First, have you had a well prepared Venison Chili or Whitefish Dip? I have and they're frickin' delicious.
And Possum Jerky. I've never had any because opossum's aren't all that common here. This is MICHIGAN, not Bugtussle (home of Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies for those of you not familiar with the pop culture canon that is my childhood).
Any small type of research would have revealed that to the author, but what are you expecting from someone who mocks eating off the land? Actual research and leg work?
However, I have had Muskrat Casserole (prepared by my roommate, who was a part time trapper) when I lived in Gaylord, and while I wouldn't recommend it to the weak of stomach, I didn't hate it. It was greasy and shall we say, tasted of the earth. It needed a little more salt.
So it all spurs this question, what is the strangest Michigan hunted food you've experienced?
Because of growing up here I have been exposed to the following delicacies, some good, some bad:
- Smoked Carp from the Saginaw River (I wouldn't recommend it)
- The Chicken of the Lakes, steelhead salmon
- Fried bullhead (a smaller catfish), walleye, perch, and a delicacy of the Eastern rivers, smelt. (Does anyone go smelt dipping anymore?)
- Pigeon River elk
- Bear (greasy and a bit gamey)
- Pigeon (fried, and better than you think)
- Rabbit (tastes NOTHING like chicken)
- Wild Turkey (the bird, not the liquor)
- and Raccoon (again, if you're adventurous, go for it, if you're looking for fine dining, I'd avoid it) which I ate mostly for the fatc that I hate raccoons.
Living off the land is serious business here, and I'd be lying if I told you I was an avid hunter or fisherman. But I respect those friends of mine who are, and none of them take their stewardship of the land lightly. They respect the game and they respect the hunt.
One line of my family goes back generations in Michigan and Western and Northern Ontario, and I can tell you I would not exist if not for hunting and fishing because that's how they survived the long and harsh winters.
And to refer to the fruits of their labor as gross, well, that's just gross.