My dad was a Depression-era kid raised by a preacher in the South. So he grew up eating disgusting, poor-ass food that probably would have made a hobo happy to eat a broiled work boot.
By the time I was a kid, our family was doing pretty well. My dad worked in politics. We lived in the suburbs. But deep down, my dad’s diet was deeply affected by those gross meals he was happy to eat as a kid, since the saying is true: the best condiment is hunger.
I was subjected to sardine sandwiches, pickled pigs feet, and potato and onion soup. But the worst was my dad’s deep love for fried chicken gizzards.
Deep-fried in a Fry Daddy purchased specifically for frying up chicken gizzards. It was like a Jeff Foxworthy joke. You know you’re part redneck when you grow up with a portable deep fry vat.
Gizzards are these fatty balls of meat that live in the digestive tract of chickens. They are used to grind up food, like feed, which are then digested.
They taste like what I imagine knuckles taste like. Gritty and gray and chewy like grim bubble gum.
I loved my dad. Which is why I have eaten a chicken gizzard. One. That was enough.