Tough economic times have Britons eating their hearts out and swallowing their tongues. Not literally, of course. But offal — or “variety meats,” as the food category is euphemistically called in the U.K. — is experiencing a surge in popularity, with sales up 67% over the past five years.

Retail and food experts say that worry over the high cost of prime meat cuts and the economic downturn have more shoppers checking out supermarket offal offerings. But the return to eating innards was under way even before this year’s financial crisis, as celebrity chefs and restaurateurs have encouraged a return to cooking organs such as liver and kidneys, which once enjoyed a central place in British cooking. At ASDA, Britain’s second largest supermarket chain and a subsidiary of Wal-Mart, offal sales were up 20% last month compared to November 2007.

“It’s price-driven,” says Bob Cotton, CEO of the British Hospitality Association, which represents 60,000 hotels and restaurants in the U.K. “I couldn’t say the British public have suddenly fallen in love with offal. That would be gilding the lily.”

Then again, maybe they do like it. As my father, who was raised by British people, always says, “Cooking kidneys is easy. You just boil the piss out of them.” Dad is adorable that way.

Source: TIME – to read full article, click here

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