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My Love Affair with Liverwurst

Liverwurst, jack cheese, tomatoes, onions and mustard on sourdough.
Liverwurst, jack cheese, tomatoes, onions and mustard on sourdough.
Photo by Joanna O'Leary

There are certain foods deemed inherently gross by popular culture, and many people -- myself included -- grow up "hating" them without ever having tried a single bite.

Growing up, I remember knowing certain foods, whether I'd tried them or not, were "not good." High up on that list was liver. In books, finding a liverwurst sandwich in your lunch pail was usually the harbinger of a shitty day, and liver and onions for dinner meant your parents really didn't love you.

I assumed I didn't like liver or liverwurst because no one did, right?

Enter Martha Stewart, who featured a recipe for liver and onions that changed my entire perspective on the organ. (And helped resolve my anemia.)

After trying this dish, my then-boyfriend, now-husband waxed on about his favorite sandwich: liverwurst, lettuce and mayonnaise on white bread. The next time I was at the market, I decided to forgo the boring sliced turkey for some Braunschweiger. After eating nearly an entire tube for dinner, I slept for a delicious nine hours and the next morning ran my fasted ten-mile time. I was hooked.

Today, my own personal favorite liverwurst sandwich combines sourdough bread with grain mustard, chopped yellow onions, monterey jack cheese, mayo and tomatoes.

While I'm loathe to say I'm on the cutting-edge of foodies because I eat liverwurst regularly, I am proud to be a member of the (unfortunate) minority of Americans who enjoy this underappreciated meat. I would say liverwurst deserves a comeback, but I'm not sure it ever really had a heyday.

And New Year's Goal No. 127 is to find the best liverwurst in Houston.



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