Liver is one of those things you either love or you hate. Very few people are on the fence when it comes to liver. Nobody says, “Liver’s okay.” If you watch someone try liver for the first time, you know immediately if they will be a liver lover or a liver hater. I remember watching one young lady try liver for the first time a few years ago–to save her any embarrassment I won’t mention her name, but her initials are exactly the same as my oldest daughter’s. She looked at the piece of liver, put it in her mouth and bit down. For a moment I couldn’t tell if she’d be a liver liker or a liver hater then suddenly her face wrinkled up like she’d just bit into a dog turd. Her body shook as if a jolt of electricity had shot through her body, and she spit the liver onto her plate. After rushing to the sink and spitting out any residue for a couple of minutes, wiping her tongue down with a napkin and gargling with Scope, Lavoris and Listerine, she decided she was on the liver hater side of the argument. I don’t think she has put liver in her mouth since.
The problem is whatever you do to liver, it always tastes like liver. You can bread it, broil it, bake it, broast it, braise it, blanch it, or barbecue it, and it still tastes like liver. It has a strong definite taste that can’t be hidden. If you put a teaspoon of liver in a crock-pot of fava beans and grilled skunk, anyone who tastes it will know liver is in it. If you don’t like liver it will ruin the dish, and if you like liver it will improve it (but let’s face it, even an improved pot of fava beans and grilled skunk still has to be somewhere between god-awful disgusting and puke-your-guts-out gross.)
I imagine the first person to try liver did it out of desperation. Four Cro-Magnons were in a cave and down to their last three mammoth chops. You would think three mammoth chops would be plenty for four people, considering the cholesterol and each one is the size of a dining room table, but Cro-Magnons were notorious for not being able to do long division, and they didn’t have a clue how to divide them up. The littlest Cro-Magnon, Bud, knew that when push came to shove he’d be pushed and shoved out of the way and would end up hungry again. So he wanders outside to the gut pile and sees this shiny thing that kind of looks like meat. He throws it on the fire and after it cooks awhile he takes a bite. After spitting the residue in a sink for a few minutes, wiping his tongue down with a napkin and gargling with Scope, Lavoris and Listerine, he decides he’ll never do that again. However the biggest Cro-Magnon, Bubba, has been watching all this. He goes over and takes a bite, and he likes it. That’s how it happened–and you can believe it because I don’t just make this stuff up. Everyone who doesn’t like liver is descended from Bud, and everyone who likes liver is descended from Bubba.
There are a lot of things people either love or hate with no in-between such as: spinach, rutabaga, sauerkraut, beets, mustard greens, Brussels’ sprouts, Hillary Clinton, Rush Limbaugh and professional wrestling (and don’t try to tell me it’s fake—I mean Limbaugh and Clinton, of course.)
So the big question. How do I feel about liver? It’s okay.