Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pickled Sausages (and Other Things that Make you Throw up in your Mouth a Little)

To say it was an enormous culture shock when I moved to Florida is an understatement. Things are really different down here from how they were in Chicagoland. Different isn't necessarily bad, but in this case . . . well, in this case, I'm convinced the only reason people stay in Florida is for the weather. And maybe the beach. They sure don't stay for the education or healthcare. They don't stay because of the way people drive down here, and I'm pretty sure they don't stay for the interesting things you find in stores down here either.

I've written about the awesome gems I've discovered while shopping in Florida HERE. In fact, reading that post makes me want to go back to Old Time Pottery because you just can't beat the kind of awesomeness you find there. I've got a few more fun prizes for you today. These are some things I've never seen in Chicago. Ever. Yet, they're abundant in Florida.

Big John's Pickled Sausages. The bigger, better pickled sausage. Better than what? And it never needs refrigeration. What could be better than artificially colored, pickled casings stuffed with mechanically separated chicken and pork hearts. Mmmmm! You get a whole 4 pounds in this jar. It's party sized! I do like the little mascot there, however. He looks like a very red Twinkie the Kid.

I don't really know what collard greens are. I'm quite certain I never saw them on a shelf at Jewel or Dominick's. It looks suspiciously like the stuff I trimmed with my weed whacker this morning though.

I don't even want to know! Okay, maybe I sort of want to know. You know, like a bad accident you can't look away from. You really don't want to see anything awful, yet you can't turn away. 

There are entire aisles devoted to grits down here like we have oatmeal up north. I tried grits once. That was all I needed. One time. All I know is that whenever I hear the word "grits", I think of My Cousin Vinny. "Are we to believe that boiling water soaks into a grit faster in your kitchen than any place on the face of the earth? Perhaps the laws of physics cease to exist on your stove. Were these magic grits? Did you guy them from the same guy who sold Jack his beanstalk beans?" 

Austin looked over my shoulder as I uploaded this picture and asked, "What is that?" 
I answered, "I have no idea what a chitterling is." 
"Look it up, Mom."
So I did. I wish I hadn't. Now I understand why the package says 'triple cleaned'. I guess you can never wash out a pig's intestines too well before frying them up and eating them. Excuse me while I vomit.

They actually call pop 'soda' down here. It's on signs and everything. It makes me cringe.

It's a giant can of boiled peanuts. Peanuts. That are. Boiled. They have the texture of wet chalk and they taste like . . . Let me put it this way - the day I tried my first boiled peanut was coincidentally the same day I tried my last boiled peanut.

Does this really need words? Oh wait, yes it does! I'm totally buying some before my next colonoscopy!

It's a unicorn corkscrew! Perfect for the 10-year-old girl in your life who likes to drink wine!

I love Target, but I'm mad at them for selling these tea cozies. Little old grandmas everywhere are going to have to come up with a new idea for Christmas presents now!


Cindy said...

Being a West Coast girl, (San Diego and Seattle) I've never heard of most of this stuff. But I will admit, the Goat Cubes had me laughing out loud!

PamGram said...

We vacationed in N.Carolina and Virginia this year and I saw boiled peanuts everywhere,and I remembered your comment about 1st and last.We didn't try any,lol. I also think My Cousin Vinny with grits and "My biological clock IS TICKING" LOL.Oh and it's soda here in Calif. too,sorry.

Mark said...

I assure you, that GOAT ain't laughing!!
"Reading between the lines",I
was able to determine that Austin somehow managed to survive that TOP NOTCH Floridian medical care...I think it would be a nice gesture if you,DAWN, made him a heaping serving of CHITTERLINGS...Up here in MASS, those PIGGY ENTRAILS are called chit-lins...Many years ago,on a dare, I actually attempted to eat a
1/4" square of one...It was like chewing a rubber band,but no where near as tasty!
I imagine that you guys are getting psyched up for the ANNUAL ALLIGATOR HUNT & Bar-B-Q..please take a few photos for us!

Mark in MASS.

Amy said...

Soda is soda. Pop sounds like you want someone to hit you. ;)

We have most of those things here in TX too but I admit to never seeing Goat cubes. Of course, I've never looked for Goat cubes either. (Oh and the stuff you weed whacked in your yard probably tastes better than Collard greens. I'm sure it would smell better!)

agent713 said...

This makes me miss Georgia! Boiled Peanuts, Collard Greens, Grits (try them savoury, they're actually really good) you found some yummy stuff. The cubed goat and pickled sausage is a bit weird though...

Pam Llewellyn said...

It's either "soda" or "soft drinks" on the aisles here in Maryland! I remember as a child hearing the word "pop" (with the "o" pronounced closer to "aw") when we visited my northern cousins -- and I had NO CLUE what they were talking about!!

Maybe you oughta make a nice meal out of those southern delicacies and deliver it to those oh-so-helpful doctors you encountered!! They might end up needing medical care of their own!

(And GOAT CUBES?? That just sounds entirely too gross.....)

kimikki said...

I'll stay in Minnesota and drink pop and eat "up north"-type foods, thankyouverymuch. None of that sounds like anything I would even want to sample. I didn't think I was a picky eater. Maybe....

Anonymous said...

Most people in the South pronounce it "chitlins" although I have only met one person who has ever tried them. I don't know anyone that eats them regularly.
Also, I eat boiled peanuts, but never from a can! You need to get them from somebody boiling them on the side of the road - nice and fresh. But warning: they are very slimy and even tho' the taste is quite good, the texture probably makes some people sick before they can even taste it.
In Mississippi, we call everything a coke. You want a coke? Sure. What do you want - I've got Coke, Sprite and Dr. Pepper. OR if you ask someone what to bring to the part - oh, just bring some 2 liters of coke. That allows you to bring any flavor of carbonated beverage. We don't use the word soda or pop.

CrystalSJ39 said...

I was born in Pensacola, FL and lived there until I was 9. We moved back to Indiana where we are from and I still eat grits. The secret is to load them up with cheese and sometimes crumbled Jimmy Dean sausage. I'm sure Floridians cringe at the thought, but it's the only way I will eat them.

pednurse said...

I have Anti Monkey Butt in my office (I'm a school nurse in Indiana)....I've never had an occasion to use it (it was supplied by our previous head nurse), but it's an awesome conversation piece! LOL

-Michelle said...

It cracks me up that it's "pop" in Chicago, because I'm just north of you in Wisconsin & nobody ever calls it "pop" - it's "soda". The sign in the aisle by the Mountain Dew says so. :)

RMSLIL said...

Grits are delicious when loaded with salt, butter, and cheese. I like mine with ham, grilled onions, mushrooms, salt ,butter and cheese. We make a grits and sausage casserole at Christmas and even grit haters love it. Most likely your sample of it wasnt seasoned right.

Collards... yummy when cooked right. Yuck to canned collards.

As for boiled peanuts. I tried them fresh and agree they were nasty. I was trying to impress a cute guy...spitting them out wasnt to impressive though.

Chitlins... oh I dont even want to try. Someone reheated them at work and I have never smelled them but knew it was chitlins the smell was so bad.

Pickled sausage..I used to eat them at the bowling alley I grew up at. I dont know how because now I just look at the jar and want to upchuck at the thought.

Cute post... the goat cubes... you got me on that. My cousin raises goats and I still havnt seen or heard of that.

Unknown said...

I hated grits when I lived in Arkansas but rediscovered them when prepared as polenta. Then it's not as runny and it works better with the texture. Then you can fry the leftovers and grate some cheese over the top! Yummy!!

Anonymous said...

soda here too....collard greens from a can sounds yucky..fresh however is delish...

Anonymous said...

Here in the UK we call them 'fizzy drinks' which is logical. Soda is something served with whisky and is just carbonated fizzy water.

I tried grits on a visit to Florida and actually liked them! The greens I tried once from a buffet menu and were ok, but again we eat a lot of greens in the UK, i.e. spring greens, cabbage, etc.

But the other stuff is pretty grim!

R.M. Lola said...

Here in New Yawwwk it's soda :) The rest of that stuff sounds pretty novel...

Cuddleskissesnchaos said...

This made me laugh. A lot. I'm from the south so I've heard of most of these but your reaction to them was priceless!

Nadia said...

I am from Canada and am spending the summer in the Carolina's. I call pop pop as well and my aunt gets so mad at me rofl. People look at me like I have 2 heads.

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