I Never Thought I'd Say This—Head Cheese Is Delicious
Monday, July 19, 2010

The food of my childhood was standard fare for those times. Meat loaf. Spaghetti. Chicken 
doused in a Campbell's soup sauce. Fish sticks. Corn Beef Hash from the can. There wasn't 
anything out of the ordinary and there was never much use for spices or flavors. In fact, I think 
our household motto was: The Blander, The Better. 

Now, I'm not trying to disparage anyone, here. It was just the way it was. My mom came from 
an Irish background and the Irish tended to boil their food into oblivion — in days gone by, 
that is. 

In my travels to Ireland, I was delighted to find the Irish have evolved when it comes to their 
food. I had some beautiful gourmet meals there, not only in the fancy schmancy restaurants,
but even the pubs nowadays can hold their own. Let me put it this way, not once, did I smell 
the heady scent of boiled cabbage. Although, they're still serving a lot of black pudding also 
known as blood sausage for breakfast over there. And I'm no vampire, so I'll just say, blood
sausages are amazingly gross.

In my family, we were borne into this bland way of eating— the generations before us, 
heaping out the plates of boiled, bland potatoes and meat until it was all that we Irish knew.  

Food does not make up the Irish. A good story speckled with a bit of blarney 
accompanied by a pint is the stock of an Irish soul. 

When we ate McDonald's, my mom would order our hamburgers plain because that was 
the way she liked hers. Same goes for salads. I think I was a teenager before I learned that 
people actually coated their salads in something called salad dressing to make iceberg lettuce 
palatable. And yes, I was shocked the day, I discovered that iceberg was not the only lettuce on 
the planet. We didn't even use oil and vinegar. Just plain old iceberg with a few cukes and a 
couple of carrots. I never felt the love for salad back then.

And the only Chinese food I'd ever known came from a can. I remember sampling that La 
Choy, gooey slime for the first time and thinking, "Those poor folks in China. No wonder 
they're all so petite."

I had no idea that food was meant to be savored until I had my first taste of a real burger. 

I was probably around 6 or 7 when my uncle took me to his favorite burger joint in Chicago. 
Being a young, single guy, I'm sure he had no idea that children tend to be finicky and he 
ordered me a cheeseburger with the works. 

I will never forget the burst of explosive taste in my my mouth as I took a bite of that burger 
loaded down with ketchup, mustard, onions, pickles, tomatoes, and a thick slab of cheddar 
cheese. It was like manna to my flavor-starved soul. 

That first taste of burger was the beginning of my rebirth as a foodie.

I married a man who grew up surrounded by Italian gourmet chefs. His Nana never considered 
pasta the real thing unless it was hand rolled like her own. And to this day, I've never found a 
plate of gnocchi that could rival hers. My mother-in-law carried on her mother's talents and added 
to them, opening up her kitchen to the flavors of the world. 

And in turn my Hubby inherited their passion and so our life together has been one succulent 

Now, I will note, even though I love to eat, I don't love cooking. I love watching cooking shows, 
but that's it. Watching the food being cooked by someone else other than me is my specialty. 

When we were in Chicago, we had the privilege of dining with one of my sister's dear friends. 

Dave LeFevre is the executive chef of Water Grill in LA. 

He was in his old stomping grounds of Chicago for a wedding last week when he called my sis 
up and invited us out to dinner. 

Lucky, lucky us. 

Dave's kind of a big deal in the culinary world.

The night before our dinner, we watched Dave on Hell's Kitchen. He was a guest judge for 
Gordon Scream Queen. For the record, I think Gordon Ramsay is a great chef and a mite 
yummy himself, but the yelling! I think if I were a contestant on that show, ole Gordon might 
just have a spoonful of risotto flung right into his eyeball if he huffed and puffed at me like that. 

Dave said Gordon is an incredibly nice man. He's only a douchebag to his scream victims aka contestants. 

I peppered Dave with questions about other famous chefs. Most of them got a thumbs up, but I 
was crushed when he gave a few of my favorites a thumbs down. 

And NO, Internet, I can't tell you who. I might not be discreet about my choice of underwear, but 
I am judicious about gossipy news that doesn't need to be spread throughout the Internet. 

Unless it's about Miley Cyrus, then I will blab away. 

Dave's sous chef, Amanda, is vying for the title of Top Chef this season. 

Personally, I find Amanda just a tad annoying. Who freakin' cooks poached chicken in sherry 
sauce for a  children's school lunch cafeteria competion? Seriously? 

When Gayle Simmons, one of the Top Chef judges asked why she chose that sort of 
sophisticated dish for children, Amanda retorted rather snippily, "Well, I like it."

Gayle shot back with something to the effect of, "Well, I like a lot of things children don't 
like. I like vodka that doesn't mean I'm going to give it to kids."

I loved that bitch slap. 

Anyway, for many years, Dave was Charlie Trotter's protege. And if you know anything 
about Chicago, you know that Charlie Trotter is the King of Culinary in The Windy City. 

It pretty much goes without saying, hanging out with Dave in Chicago is guaranteed to be 
a good night. 

Dave met us at my sister's place and of course, just at the moment he arrived, my kids were 
taking a DiGorno's pizza out of the oven for their dinner. 

I'm pretty sure I heard Dave gasp as he said something like,"When you're in Chicago, 
DiGorno's is just a crime. Actually, DiGorno's is always a crime."

Dave better not come sniffing around my house anytime soon, because we are a cast of 
lawless criminals when it comes to the world of frozen pizzas. 

At least it wasn't a Totinos. That would have been like a mass murder filled with countless 
kilos of heroin.  

We batted about different ideas for dinner. I was hoping to go somewhere fabulous with 
gourmet delicacies and heady wines and cool lighting. I love cool lighting. 

But then, Dave started talking about a taco joint that serves two buck tacos and a smorgasbord 
of various whiskey shots. 

Now . . . 

I'm the first one in line, when it comes to fun but to say I was praying under my breath, 
"Let's not choose tacos. Let's not choose tacos" would be an understatement. 

It would be like Bono offering to sing me a song and then he comes out with, "Party 
In The USA."

There is nothing right in that. 

I mean, I like tacos. It's just not want I want to eat when I'm with an esteemed chef. And as for 
shots of whiskey, I've never really understood the concept of shots. Shots of whiskey taste like 
you're taking a hit of gasoline. Not to mention the burn. And it's easy enough to get me on top 
of a bar for a dance. I don't need help from some rounds of shots. 

And the thing is, even though Dave cooks the fanciest of foods and has won all kinds of awards 
and trained at the CIA and in France and cooked with some of the most famous chefs in the 
world and has judged the scream victims on Hell's Kitchen and starts out stories with, "When 
I was vacationing in Iceland last month" he is still one of the most down-to-earth guys you'll 
ever want to meet. He's from Wisconsin. And when you're from Wisconsin, down-to-earth 
pumps through your bloodstream. You have no choice. 

And I'm sure chefs like a night off. I'm certain to Dave, two buck tacos and whiskey shots is like 
a big, joyous jolt of playing hooky. 

But I've got a Taco Bell right down the street from me. And their tacos are 99¢.

And I'm such a rule follower, the one time I bolted from school in the middle of the day with 
some of my friends, I didn't enjoy a second of our freedom. I was too busy hyperventilating 
and waiting for Ed Rooney to come personally pick me up. 

I am no Ferris Bueller.

Much to my relief, we finally chose a restaurant called The Publican. Dave described it as a cool 
place one of his friends owns with these great communal tables. 

And since he'd just brought up tacos and whiskey shots, I was a bit wary and so I said, "Huh? Communal tables? Like at a carnival food tent?"

And Dave gave me a look. The look I will forever label as the DiGorno look. 

And then he said the magic words, "Their specialty is pork."

I grabbed my purse. 

You see, I lust over pork. I'm pretty certain, after dark chocolate and spicy red Zinfandel, 
pork was the third thing God made when he created the world. Forget the trees, the oceans, 
the beasts, Adam and Eve. It went chocolate, red Zin, (never, ever, ever to be confused with 
white zinfandel, which in my book is not wine, but more like KoolAid for grownups), and 
then God made a slow-roasted, barbecue-slathered, pulled pork sandwich. 

It's one of the only ways in my life I'm like a boy— my love for all things pork. 

So off we went, the lure of pork outweighing my worries of eating alongside some carny 

The Publican is in the heart of the Fulton Market district and once we arrived there, I realized 
I was wrong. Dead wrong. 

It didn't look like this.

It looked like this:

And this:

And from the minute we walked into the place, the culinary debauchery began.

The owner came over to give Dave a hearty man hug and to discuss the dinner menu with us. 
He mesmerized me as he spoke of suckling pig stuffed with peaches, artichokes and almonds, a 
sampling of some of the finest hams, wood roasted farm chickens,brined and filled with summer 
sausage, sweetbreads, oysters from around the world, and pork rinds. 

Dave had mentioned the pork rinds on the taxi ride over several times. 

And even though I love my pork, pork rinds don't do it for me. 

Probably because the only ones I've ever eaten were in a desperate starving moment when 
my hubby's 7-11 pork rinds were the only thing edible in our car at the time. 

After the owner had told us about his restaurant's treasures and excused himself, we started up 
with the "What are you having?"

I was heartbroken to hear the suckling pig was sold out, and so I couldn't decide between the 
chicken and sausage, because our wonderful host had highly recommended it, or the 

And yes, I love me some sweetbreads. 

And before you say, "Eeeewww", Internet, I say it's like, watching "America's Next Top 
Model." The thought of Tyra Banks lecturing a bunch of vacuous girls about the complex 
skills it takes to look fierce makes me want to blow up my TV. But 5 minutes of that cheesy ridiculousness and you are hooked, man. And if there's a marathon on, watch out. My entire 
family doesn't move for hours at a time. 

So, Dave and I decided to share chicken and sweetbreads, but before we could even finish 
making our decision, plate upon plate of food was put before us, compliments of the house. 

It was amazing. We feasted. We gloried in the pork and the oysters and the seafood so utterly 
fresh, it set my Florida seafood palate to tingling. We ate pork rinds that were so light they 
melted in our mouths, crackling bits of peppery pork heaven. The sweetbreads were exquisite and 
so was the chicken. We drank our wine out of farmhouse glasses and ate our food off of delicate mismatched china in that gorgeous setting and had a righteous time. 

One of the offerings put before us was a charcuterie plate filled with pork pies, briskets, duck 
terrine and a certain spotted meat that looked vaguely familiar to me. 

I pointed at it with my fork and asked Dave what it was. 

When he said head cheese, I wrinkled my nose and made a comment about why anyone would 
ever think there was a reason on this earth to create something as heinous as head cheese. 

Dave gave me the DiGorno look and told me to taste. 

And so I did. And it was incredible, Internet, just a delectable piece of meat. 

Now that doesn't mean I'm going out tomorrow and buying myself some Oscar Mayer head 
cheese, but the next time I'm back at the Publican it will be the first thing I order. 

When the fish came, our waiter handily filleted it and asked who would like the head. 
Dave immediately piped up he would love it, that is, unless any of the rest of us would like it. 

Now, I'm all for trying a little head cheese, but fish head with eyes still intact? No. 

We told Dave to have at it. 

The last dish I wanted to mention was the frites or french fries as we Digorno pizza people 
call them.  

They came to our table in a heaping bowl, covered in a sunny side up egg. 

There is an old adage that says a true test of a master chef is in his ability to cook an egg 

This was beyond perfection. My sister and I couldn't get enough of the perfect combination of 
crispy fries and egg yolk. As we stuffed our faces with this tasty treat, my sister asked Dave what 
this dish was called. 

Dave gave us the DiGornono look and said all Wisconsin-like, "Fries with an egg on the top 
of it."


Our food there was beyond compare. The company, even better. 

Oh, and before we left I took a quick trip to the bathroom. And yes, I'm even going to talk
about their bathrooms. They were so gorgeous. I was beside myself. It was a circle of 
individual water closets all centered around some communal sinks. 

They do communal right at the Publican.

At the end of the night, after drinks at Dave's hotel and more fun, we headed home, so full of the goodness of the night. And as I mulled over the evening, I had 2 thoughts:

We really need to find more chef friends. 


Man, I love head cheese. 

Today's Definite Download: The other day, in the midst of a crisis of self doubt, I impulsively 
spilled my heart to you all and asked for your prayers. 

Your comments were the biggest bolster of confidence I could ever ask for. You people are 
the kindest folks I know and your generosity towards me has been humbling and inspiring. I 
cried a bit from the kindness of your words and so for that, and all your wishes and prayers, 
I give you all of my thanks. I love you, too. 

And whatever mojo you sent my way, worked. That, and a writing angel, named A.B. Keuser 
who came to my aid, but I'll tell you more about that very soon. 

For now, I'll just say, I. Am. Back. 

One of my readers, JoAnn, my sister in namesake and writing, urged me to turn on the music. 
She suggested Sound of Music's, "I Have Confidence" which is a great song, but it wasn't on 
my iPod. 

I did snap on my iPod in the midst of my misery and the perfect song popped up, just waiting 
for me. 

I've suggested it before here, but I'll say it again because it is a joyous, rocking song and it was 
exactly what I needed to hear on that day as that beast of self doubt came to terrorize my writer's 

"Human" by the Killers because sometimes a song and the wishes of good souls will help you 
through the darkest of days.

I did my best to notice
When the call came down the line
Up to the platform of surrender
I was brought but I was kind

And sometimes I get nervous
When I see an open door
Close your eyes, clear your heart
Cut the cord

Are we human or are we dancers?
My sign is vital, my hands are cold
And I'm on my knees looking for the answer
Are we human or are we dancers?


twelvedaysold said...

Excellent song choice! I'm going to go ahead and take the blame for introducing A.B. Keuser to you :)

Can't wait to hear what's going on on the writing front!

Jennifer Vanderbeek said...

A few things:

*I'm ever grateful that I grew up in Louisiana where food is a religion stronger than you find in church.

*I've had chefs that behaved the way Gordon does on his shows. Not at me, of course, because I've always been the teacher's pet-type (though I did get cussed out for calling him Sir that first time) and more than capable.

*We are as one on the Zin--even to the point of calling white zin kool-aid; I did have to explain to some dinner guests, though, that there is such a thing as red zin, it is good, and how red and white wines can be made from the same grapes!

Shell said...

I love you.

Does that work as a comment when I'm tired? No? LOL

I'm hungry after reading this post. I LOVE Top Chef and even watch it in reruns. I'm fascinated by chefs.

Dh grew up on bland food. His mom and brother still don't eat anything exciting. Thankfully, dh likes spicy and flavorful foods, as do our kids.

Unknown said...

okay despite the fact that you gave me a shout out, I HATE YOU!!
not really, I'm just amazingly jealous. My heart hurts right now....with envy.

The headcheese thing..ew. But, it sort of reminds me of the time I was living in Germany and I loved this meat spread thing that I ate by the gallonful. When I asked what it was, my hosts said, "Pork", and I let that stand.

Literally 10 years later I was reading a random article in the Smithsonian about Butchers in Germany. Guess what I had been devouring? RAW pork. It's delicious, really. But you can only get it from a reputable butcher in Germany, or you might die.

Gordon is too yelling on Hell's Kitchen. I like him better on Kitchen Nightmares, where he seems to show a glimpse of his SOUL.

Liz Mays said...

How many DiGiorno looks did you get in total? You could have set a record!

I'm not sure how I feel about the communal eating, but the food may very well have offset that little annoyance.

Alexandra said...

I love your posts, Jo...it's like sitting with a close, dear friend. Your words just flow, NO MATTER the subject...

Gucci Mama said...

Mmm. Food. That's as eloquent as I can get when you write about such things when I'm on a diet.


Cecelia Winesap said...

Too many laughs for me over here to comment on! :)

Loved that vodka Top Chef moment too!

liz said...

Joann - if I had your cell phone number, I would have called the second Ed Rooney's face showed up in my Blogger Dash. But it kept getting better! The Chicago stories, Hell's Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay...AAAAHHHHHHHH!!

This was a post that slapped a shit-eatin' grin on my face and made my heart race in excitement. :)

Noelle said...

I had to google a few of the food items...I'm so hopelessly inept at anything gourmet.

However, Jason smokes the best brisket on this planet...I'm guessing...because I've never had brisket any other way...

I love it and I'm not a huge meat eater.

Also, I'm not so sure about eggs over french fries. Really?

And finally, I love the bathroom too!!! Beautimos!

Unknown said...

Wow! Sounds like you had quite a night! My mom used to make head cheese and it was scrumptious. I loved it. You lead quite the life, rubbing elbows with celebrity chefs!

Lisa said...

Oh, I'm jealous too! It sounds like a fun (and yummy) dinner...

Cheryl said...

My mother's idea of veg was a bowl of iceberg lettuce.

I'm so glad you had a wonderful dinner and that your writing is back on track!

Also? I do enjoy watching other people cook so much better than actually doing it myself! Mostly it's because I hate cleaning up. Or cleaning up before i cook, and then having to also clean up after. It's exhausting.

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

Growing up Italian everything revolved around food. Food was everywhere. Everyone always worried if there was enough food. We called it the Dom DeLuise syndrome.

Thank god it was the sink that was communal and not the toilets. Can you picture one toilet in the center and 8 sinks all around?

The Furry Godmother said...

Oh, my mother, who graduated with a home ec degree from Mississippi University for Women, must have been sleeping when the spice class happened. I was forever challenging her to come up with something I would eat. Something with FLAVOR. Argh. Wouldn't touch white bread and american cheese. I love to cook. I do it every day.

And I cringed when Amanda made chicken in sherry for CHILDREN! Gale's comment back to her was priceless.

Very envious of your culinary adventure. I once got a kiss on the lips from an Italian chef in NY when I ordered the liver. He came flying out of the kitchen to smooch me as the order hit the window.

One Photo said...

Hi Joann

When I read the title of this post I wondered what this was all going to be about and once again I have discovered a major difference in the meaning of certain words between English English and American English. In England what you refer to as Head Cheese is called Brawn. As this is a family blog I cannot I fear tell you what the term Head Cheese is actually used to refer to but you can look it up :-)

Gigi said...

Yay! My long-awaited food post!

The Publican looks so cool and unusual. Love it. It sounds like a fun feast with an equally fun chef. You are right, no one from Wisconsin is ever really mean, BTW.

I can't wait to get to meet you in person, because we can spend hours talking about such erudite subjects as Bret Michaels, love of pork, and red wine.

I'm so glad you had a great night. You deserve it!

Sadako said...

Ah, head cheese. I think I'm too scared of it!

Trista said...

Oh Joann, one day we shall meet up and have a fun filled day of debauchery such as drinking wine, and eating head cheese, and we can even play some Bono of course alternating it with some Dave Matthews. It would be so fun.

Let me share a story with you about fish and pork heads, for our wedding we roasted a giant pig in the middle of a forest. My husband proceeded to eat the eye of the pig, I refused to kiss him the rest of the night :) He has also ate a many a fish eye and has forced me to eat head cheese, which I do love.

So when will this sinfully delicously bonding weekend take place between you and I? lol

Cheeseboy said...

Joann - A Marvelous post. I wish I had friends as cool as yours.

I am not sure what this means: "Who freakin' cooks poached chicken in sherry sauce for a children's school lunch cafeteria competion?" BUT I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU!

Also Joann, in my recent interview, I totally meant to list YOUR BLOG as one of my favorites, but I totally forgot. I feel awful. I hope you shall forgive me.

middle child said...

Wisconsin? Really? Fries with an egg. Kind of like their cheese soup (a bowl of melted cheese with popcorn on the top.) But Dave must have been born somewhere else for he knows his stuff. And you can't beat Chicago for food. Any and all kinds of food. Have you ever tried to get a pizza in any other state? What a joke. Gotta go now, this blog has made me hungry I am chewing on the mouse pad.

Baby Sister said...

Besides the fish food, this sounds like heaven!! And the restaurant is totally awesome!! I think I need to make a trip to Chicago now...

Bossy Betty said...

Oh Joann, Oh my. You had a food adventure, didn't you? So glad you had fun!

Grace said...

Okay, that's the prettiest bathroom I've ever seen. Thank you for that detail. And the frites with egg sound so yummy. There's a place in Atlanta that makes a grilled cheese sandwich topped with a fried egg. It's heaven. So I can only imagine what those fries are like - kind of an American version of France's omelette and frites, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fabulous time! I'd have to try head cheese before I was told what it was. Other than that I pretty much equate it with fish heads.

We eat Totinos in our house. Your friend would have a heart attack if he looked in our freezer.

However, my husband is a KING on the grill and the smoker. And pork is his favorite, too. If you find yourself in Texas you can come eat communally with us!

natalee said...

This post was a classic... I laughed so hard about the Irish eating and the iceberg lettuce.. my brother in law is Irish and the first time he ate salad at our house he spent 15 minutes looking at our mesculine lettuce...lol... .. ps i love head cheese too... hugs

Dee said...

Fries with an egg?


alicia said...

My how you've grown girl. See, I grew up not even knowing what ranch dressing was like until I got married. The folks always had us on light or fat free everything and bland is an understatement. So happy that your eyes have been opened to fine cuisines. I'm still working on it, as my kids seem to have a more versatile palette than myself.

Anonymous said...

When I was in college, the Taco Bell in Auburn took checks but they ALSO charged 20 cents more per taco than stores other places. I just thought I'd share. That was when tacos were 59 cents so at school they were 79 cents and now they're 99 cents? I wonder if they're $1.19 in Auburn now?

Meg at the Members Lounge said...

I grew up in the Irish family, too, and will never eat a tuna noodle casserole again. When I was a teen my mother worked in a French restaurant and was immediately smitten with garlic and life changed drastically. Wherever we travel we go for a mega splurge dinner and I'll try something offbeat like head cheese. Last summer we went to Del Posto in NYC and had the tasting menu. Nothing more incredible than the kitchen sending out what they think it their best stuff and then inhaling it!

JennyMac said...

Call me tiny minded but I just can't eat it. From the name forward, I get shivers..lol.

Pat said...

I ate "blutwuerst" until I found out the English name for it: bloodsausage. My husband is German and that's what they called it.

I'm jealous of who you know AND your evening. That place sounds GREAT! Although I just don't know if I could bring myself to eat the headcheese.

W.C.Camp said...

Yee Gads - the nicer sounding the name "Sweetbreads" & "Head Cheese" usually is cover for something unappetizing that they are hiding. I had dinner with some friends and their son LOVED to eat fish eyes. He would pop in one of those vacant steamed balls and a second later he'd spit out a little black BB from the center of the eye? Another time I had 'fish cheeks' and they were delicious, but I was a little disappointed when I found out they came from the fish's face - I had always wanted to see what fish had been sitting on in their underwater dens while waiting to be caught. W.C.C.

A. B. Keuser said...

Awe! Thanks for the shout out :)

I'm just so glad to have been able to help.

You know... you were right. The boys may have been brothers (except Earl's mom was definitely not the source of his culinary leanings. I dont know how you can turn gravy green, but she did it)

Crazy Brunette said...

My mother (god love the bitch) is the reason I OVER salt absolutely everything.

When I DO decide to cook, 9 times out of ten I get that look from Mr. CB... the one where it looks like I just squirted a fucking lemon in his eye!

Then go get McDonalds fucker!

Jen said...

Would you be surprised to learn that the whole soundtrack to Sound of Music is on my iPod? I didn't think so.

My grandfather loved head cheese. He was always trying to get me to try it. I just couldn't. Even if I were to like it I certainly become known as that redhead who likes head cheese. Next time I am in Chicago I will give it a try, I promise.

Glad you are back to your old self!

LisaPie said...

Sweetbreads! one of my favorite foods.

Honey, I believe I would follow you anywhere and we could eat all the glorious things out there and drink lovely wine.

You say the headcheese is good, I am eating it. I never have, but only because it has never been offered to me. Not for my lack of desire.

So far, the only 2 foods I have found that I don't like to eat: Onions and canned lima beans.

Anonymous said...

You're amazing! (I'm still aww'ing over the bathrooms...holy crap!)

Head Cheese---sounds really scary-but since you suggest it-I might try it! MIGHT!

Ashleigh Burroughs said...

Coming over from The Members' Lounge to see who else is loved by Meg.... I'm so happy she sent me your way.

I'm not big on liver (unless it's chopped and spread on matzoh and I'm surrounded by my extended family)but I do love tongue. My mom made it for me one night, but she didn't slice it in the kitchen. Seeing that whole thing on the table robbed us all of our appetites.... and there were sweetbreads for appetizers.... WHAT was she thinking??

It's nice to meet you,

jayayceeblog said...

I am so jealous! The chef, the restaurant, the food!!! And, yes, it's amazing how quickly you can get sucked into a marathon of America's Top Model. =)

Lula Lola said...

Lucky you! I'm a pescetarian who eats pork. Only pork. I don't crave red meat or poultry, but I cannot resist pork!
I've not tried head cheese, but will surely order it if I find myself at the Publican!

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