Graffiti is alive and well, especially in the front window of Church’s Fried Chicken in LaGrange, Georgia.
Evidently, someone doesn’t find cooked-to-order chicken gizzards appetizing. No, it was like that when I got there. I did not deface this poster. Why would I? There aren’t any typos on it to mock my English teacher’s (red) pen reflex.
I’m assuming “cooked to order” means “however you ask,” like Waffle House offers their eggs and Longhorn offers their steaks. So could I get my chicken gizzards fried, boiled, sauteed, grilled, baked? Well done, medium-well, medium, or rare? I’m going to make myself sick.
The liver, you already know about. All birds have gizzards. It’s how they grind up their food, since they don’t have teeth. Eating livers and gizzards goes way back to when people raised much of their own food and let no part of a meat animal go to waste. My grandparents loved fried livers and gizzards, and considered them a special treat. My stepfather loves them, too, but gout forces him to abstain from eating even one.
Me? I’ve never even tried them. How do you know you don’t like them if you’ve never tried them? As Lewis Grizzard once said, “Well, I’ve never chugged a quart of motor oil, but I’m pretty sure I don’t like it.” The smell hits me as 40 kinds of wrong, which leads me to believe that the taste is at least 80 kinds of wrong. I smell them cooking and promptly pivot 180° right out the door. Call me when the uric acid smell is gone, okay?
Humans evolved to trust their five senses, and I don’t think mine would lie to me when faced with a steaming-hot plate of freshly-fried chicken livers and gizzards. More power to you if you like them, but I’ll pass. Thank you, though.
It’s traditional here in the Deep South to eat fried livers and gizzards, not use them as fish bait. It makes food sense, too. But what if some people don’t like the taste? Is it a tradition whose usefulness has run its course? I don’t know.
I raise chickens for eggs, and hope one day to raise and slaughter my own meat birds, too. The time will come when I have to make these types of decisions while cleaning and dressing my birds. In the meantime, I’ll ponder fried chicken livers and gizzards—and chitlins, pickled pigs’ feet, dandelion greens, pickled eggs, neckbones & rice…