2

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Does muscle meat desensitize us to the yummy taste of liver?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 08, 2011 at 5:03 AM

One incredibly awesome thing about eating Paleo is that, once your senses of smell and taste come back online, genuinely healthy food tastes good. "Health food" has lost all connotation of "tastes like cardboard" and now conjures images of mouth-watering indulgence.

But there is one giant, glaring exception: Liver.

Some people obviously love the stuff, but many, like myself, still shudder at the very thought. I see multiple questions here on how to force yourself to eat it. What? This is the paleo diet. We shouldn't ever have to force ourselves to eat anything. The body should know what it wants.

Liver is supposed to be a nutritional powerhouse, a superfood, but I can't even convince my gag reflex that it's food.

So what is going on here?

My hypothesis is that many of us are spoiled on muscle meat, much like how sugar desensitizes us to the sweetness in, well, pretty much everything else, maybe too much muscle meat costs some people the ability to taste whatever it is in liver that liver-lovers like.

Experiences? Thoughts? Counter-proposals?

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on May 08, 2011
at 05:44 PM

Isn't that the other way around? AFAIK, EVOO has a low smoking point while coconut oil has a very high one.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on May 08, 2011
at 03:50 PM

Wild deer liver has very mild flavor, friend of mine is a hunter and gives me some livers during winter hunting season. Its a delicacy.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on May 08, 2011
at 03:49 PM

Here they often serve liver sauce in schools too. Finland has free school lunch. Unfortunatly not many like the sauce ;) And after that propably are scared to try to cook it :(

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on May 08, 2011
at 03:47 PM

John, how about some marrow for the sauce too? :) I wish i could buy veal bones, veals are quite rare in my country. Making veal stock would be so much worth while for the time.. I brown liver in duck fat.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on May 08, 2011
at 02:40 PM

I love liver and kidneys.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on May 08, 2011
at 02:08 PM

what, no cream John

083f1759ac6bcee7cd5081f6d062c822

on May 08, 2011
at 05:57 AM

I only recommend extra virgin olive oil because it has a "high smoking temperature" meaning you can heat Otto another temperature before it burns...or bursts into flames!! It's easier to use when searing meats at high temperature for a rare. Out of curiosity...why coconut? I'm still adapting to paleo...

Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on May 08, 2011
at 05:40 AM

That's sounds so good I'm tempted to do it right now. I hope going with coconut oil instead of olive oil won't cause offense.

083f1759ac6bcee7cd5081f6d062c822

on May 08, 2011
at 05:16 AM

I'd slice it a quarter inch thick, season with salt and pepper, then sear it in smoking hot extra virgin olive oil with garlic, rosemary and thyme....but sear it quickly so it remains rare. Remove from pan, rest at least 5 minutes to reduce "bleed out". In the same pan with the liver juices, sauté mushrooms, yellow onions. Remove them from the pan. Deglaze the pan with red wine, reduce by half. Had veal stock, reduce by 3/4. Plate liver first, cover with onions and mushrooms, them pour sauce over top.

Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on May 08, 2011
at 05:11 AM

I don't have an answer but I'm going to cook some goat liver for the first time tomorrow. Any recipes to recommend?

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7 Answers

2
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 08, 2011
at 12:50 PM

Its only a matter of what you've been conditioned to eat growing up. Kids in Japan love things that kids here would hate. And kids here, or in France, etc, eat cheese that'd make other kids in other places gag.

You grow up eating organs, you'll like organs. Your parents feed you muscle, you'll like (or at least be acclimated to) muscle.

I do agree that muscle meats in general have a milder flavor than any organ. I don't love liver, but i don't dislike it strongly, either. One thing i've learned is that while muscle meat from CAFO animals may taste fine to you (meaning not too bad compared to a grass-fed animal), organ meats from a CAFO animal are a vastly different thing from organ meats from a grass-fed animal. If you're starting up and wanna go liver, etc, it'll be worth it to your taste buds to source it from a good animal.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on May 08, 2011
at 03:50 PM

Wild deer liver has very mild flavor, friend of mine is a hunter and gives me some livers during winter hunting season. Its a delicacy.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on May 08, 2011
at 03:49 PM

Here they often serve liver sauce in schools too. Finland has free school lunch. Unfortunatly not many like the sauce ;) And after that propably are scared to try to cook it :(

2
083f1759ac6bcee7cd5081f6d062c822

on May 08, 2011
at 05:20 AM

I believe it is just a matter of experiencing a truly well prepared dish. Trust me, I've had some bad ones...but it is most likely a mental block. Buy some, experiment with it, look up recipes on line. Analyze what it is that you don't like about the flavor profile, then compensate by properly seasoning, applying different technique, texture, ect...

0
Ba99a15e6bf870b81286791617050593

(671)

on September 12, 2012
at 11:04 AM

Pate, pate, pate.

0
05de181d71c1df6304a03566fe821d4b

on September 12, 2012
at 08:33 AM

I found that marinating in lemon juice for a couple hours or even overnight kind of dulls the livery taste. But I wonder if lemon makes it slightly tougher, according to this guy who seems to be the guru of all things grass fed Stanley Fishman

0
1af74d4439df773c542098c484b6151d

on September 12, 2012
at 03:09 AM

Liver is the only food I have ever rejected in my life. About half of the family members I grew up with like liver and about the same can't stand it. I haven't tried it since I was a kid and I'm pretty curious as to try it again.

0
Medium avatar

on May 08, 2011
at 06:57 PM

Enough salsa and anything tastes good.

0
Bad3a78e228c67a7513c28f17c36b3cf

(1387)

on May 08, 2011
at 11:36 AM

If people have no experience with the strong taste of organ meats, it may be difficult to reeducate the taste buds. I was lucky, my mom made us calves liver with bacon and onions when I was growing up, and I loved it then and I still do. However, she also used to make beef tongue, which actually tastes rather mild, but I couldn't get past the appearance...my brother and I used to call it hippopotamus.

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