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Liver mush – What Is It?

It is so cold here in North Carolina and I am sure if you are in the Northern US, it is much colder.  Over the holidays, my husband and some of our friends had a conversation about liver mush and I realized I have never blogged about it.  It is truly a North Carolina meat that so many people are crazy about especially in the western part of the state.

What is Liver mush?  According to Wikipedia, it is:

Liver mush is a Southern United States food product composed of pig liver, head parts, and cornmeal. It is commonly spiced with pepper and sage.

Shelby, North Carolina hosts an annual Livermush Exposition, which began in 1987 to celebrate the unique delicacy. In that year the Cleveland County Commissioners and the Shelby City Council passed resolutions proclaiming that “livermush is the most delicious, most economical and most versatile of meats.” Other towns in North Carolina that have livermush festivals include Drexel and Marion.[1]

It is commonly cooked by cutting a slice off of a premade loaf and frying it with grease in a skillet until golden brown, similar to the way Spam is prepared. At breakfast it is served alongside grits and eggs. For lunch it can be made into a sandwich with mayonnaise or mustard, either fried as above, or left cold. It is also less commonly served with grape jelly. As livermush’s popularity has risen, it has appeared as an ingredient in dishes such as omelettes and pizzas

I have never heard of livermush on a pizza but at one time I thought it was unusual to have pineapple or barbecued chicken on a pizza. In the sandhills of North Carolina we ate liver pudding and it wasn’t something we ate very often. It was in a loaf too but I don’t think it has cornmeal in it so the consistency is more smooth. When I moved to Charlotte, NC, it seemed everyone was eating liver mush and I have tasted it and would have to say that I don’t like it but at the same time I don’t dislike it.  It has a unique taste to it but it doesn’t taste  like liver at all.  I have been told that is similar to scrapple that is popular in the Northern part of the US.  When I moved to the foothills of North Carolina,  goodness me, it seemed even more popular that it was in Charlotte.  I do know that locally owned restaurants have livermush available for their breakfast menus. Their is a local chain called Biscuitville that started in Burlington, NC and they do offer liver mush biscuits.

My husband is the person in our home that prepares liver mush and actually he prepares most of the bacon, sausage or breakfast meats in our home.  Frying country ham would have to be my breakfast specialty.

I asked him how he prepared it and this is Dale’s recipe for fried liver mush

First of all start with a good quality mush  ( He likes Neese’s and here is a link to their website: http://www.neesesausage.com/)

The mush is in an oblong loaf and he slices it into 1/2 inch slices.  Heat a griddle to 350 degrees.

He prefers to cook the liver mush in bacon grease, after frying bacon but vegetable oil will work.

Cook the mush until each side is very crisp.  Dale said that seals the moisture in the mush and it is crispy on the outside but moist and tasty on the inside.

I am also giving you a link to the liver mush festival that is held in Shelby North Carolina in the fall of each year.  http://www.uptownshelby.com/events/shelby-fall-liver-mush-expo

It is so cold here in North Carolina and actually all over the Midwestern and Northern US and I think of comforting foods and I do think Liver Mush in a biscuit would be such a good way to start a new week in January.   Thanks for stopping by!!!

4 responses »

  1. You stumped me when I saw this title in my reader…never heard of liver mush. It is interesting how some foods can be typical to such a small area of our country. :)

    Reply
  2. My brother loves it. I have never tried it and can safely say I never will. I’ll have to tell him about these festivals. I smell a road trip…and liver pudding. Ew.

    Reply

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