Have you ever tasted Livermush? Ron Johnson wrote about it in Comments. I looked it up:
Livermush. The mention of the word brings to mind one of two things: a versatile meat, served primarily for breakfast, or a response of, “I’m not sure what that is, but it sounds really gross.” Whoever named the dish wasn’t doing it any favors. Neither “liver” nor “mush” conjures up a good meal for most people. And let’s face it, it really doesn’t look that appetizing. When the ingredients list consists of “pork liver and head parts” and the name literally consists of the word “mush,” there must be some good reason this food has thrived, right?
Livermush is such a part of the North Carolina culture that there’s an entire festival devoted to it. “Mush, Music, and Mutts,” (or, simply “the livermush festival” as locals know it) is generally held in October in the town of Shelby (but you’ll also find smaller livermush festivals in the towns of Drexel and Marion).
Primarily consisting of ingredients like pig liver and cornmeal, and generally seasoned with sage and black pepper, livermush is all formed together in a rectangular loaf. It’s really just made up of what’s left of the pig after the good parts are taken and used. It’s not far from scrapple that you would find in Mid-Atlantic states like Pennsylvania and Delaware. The only difference is scrapple has a little less cornmeal and a different amount of liver (scrapple could have more, less, or even no liver at all)
If you’re really a fan of livermush, you’ll want to head to Shelby in October to be around plenty of like-minded folks. At Shelby’s Livermush Festival, there’s plenty of livermush to sample, of course (with a variety of preparations), a fall festival on the court square with activities for kids, a pet parade, two outdoor stages, and the crowning of “Little Miss Livermush.”
“Little Miss Livermush”! I’d love to date her. If I were still drawing Ernie, I would have Effie enter the contest. Tomorrow we’ll discuss head cheese. Maybe they have a “Little Miss Head Cheese” competition somewhere.