Thursday, September 15, 2011

Liver Mush Expo in Shelby, North Carolina

Yep....you read right.....the 24th Annual Liver Mush Expo is slated for October 22 from 10am-5pm on the historic court square in the quaint town of Shelby, North Carolina, just an hour west of Charlotte. Started in 1987 to celebrate the unique delicacy that is liver mush (more on that later), the Liver Mush Expo features the famous locally-owned Mack's Liver mush sandwiches, liver mush samples from area restaurants, competitions for your favorite liver mush dish, food pairing demonstrations and various other liver mush festivities. Other vendors will be on hand with food and beverages (Cheerwine is the local favorite to pair with liver mush) in case your tastes lie elsewhere.

Liver mush (sometimes called liver pudding) is a southern United States food product composed of pig liver, head parts, and cornmeal (in SC Lowcountry cuisine, the cornmeal is usually replaced by white rice) and seasoned liberally with pepper and sage. Vaguely similar to scrapple, it is commonly prepared by cutting a slice off a prepared loaf and frying it with grease in a skillet until golden brown. Then it is typically served alongside grits and eggs for breakfast or made into a sandwich with mayonnaise or mustard for lunch.

In 2008, the liver mush powers that be invited Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern to attend the festivities and to feature the delicacy on his show. His take on the taste treat? "It was great. My kind of eating". 

In addition to hosting the Liver Mush Expo, the Shelby City Council and the Cleveland County Commissioners passed a resolution in 1987 proclaiming that "liver mush is the most delicious, most economical, and most versatile of meats". Whether you're a fan or not, it's hard to fight city hall.

12 comments:

  1. As a little girl growing up in Charleston, I remember going to a meat market on the "Hike". It was a green building that housed several merchants who sold a sausage like meat. We called it "rice pudding". I have looked for it high and low and cannot find it anywhere.
    The color was almost black. It turned even blacker when it was heated up. My grandmother loved it with grits. I used to cut a piece an eat it with crackers or all by itself.
    Where can I find this? Is it still made or is it now called by another name. I want to share this with my children.

    Thank you,
    Mr. Rivers High School...1970 something.

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  2. Yes, you had livermush. :-)

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  3. I think it might be called liver pudding. And we can get it at many grocery stores here in North Carolina.

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  4. It's called liver pudding or liver mush and Neese's makes the best.

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  5. All the brands taste good but I'm sticking with Corrihers as my favorite.

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  6. Gosh....we've never tried that brand. Where can we find it?

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  7. I'm no longer living in NC but I know Corriher's was the common brand in and around Kannapolis. If I recall correctly, Corriher's is made in China Grove.

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  8. Sounds great. We'll definitely be on the lookout for it on our Carolina travels. Thanks for the tip!

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  9. I grew up in SC. Liver pudding there was made with rice, pork, pork liver, and lots of pepper. If you didn't buy it fresh from a butcher, you generally bought Neese's from a grocery store. When I moved to Louisiana, I discovered boudin, which is similar. (pronounced boodan) Boudin is made with rice, pork, a little pork liver, green onions, and mostly red pepper. Richard's premium, not-smoked version is most similar in taste to Low Country liver pudding. (The smoked is very good, too.) You can also get hot boudin (made with jalapenos), shrimp, crawfish, or venison versions in Louisiana. I have never tried NC liver pudding with cornmeal.

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  10. We love us some boudin! Certainly Louisiana's tasty (and spicy) version of liver pudding.

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  11. Well, generally speaking, livermush and liver pudding are not the same thing. Primary difference is that livermush contains cornmeal whereas liver pudding does not. Just depends on whose recipe and nomenclature is being used.

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