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This Valentine’s Day, Eat Heart

pig's heart

It’s Valentine’s Day again. This hallmark of Hallmark holidays sends consumers careening in a thousand directions: to the florist! to the chocolatier! recipes for two! the most romantic restaurants! the sexiest lingerie! Or, antithetically, for those swearing off love this week, to the bar. The ice-cream aisle. The Netflix cue. Let us steer you instead, single or attached, to a new idea. Let us encourage you to eat heart.

Eat heart? That’s right, eat heart.

Visit your nearest butcher, and ask for a heart.

Nose-to-tail eating, as it is called, is a centuries-old custom that is celebrating a renaissance as chefs pay closer attention to more efficient and humane ways of butchering. While offal might sound awful, the obscurer parts of an animal surprise and delight their eater more often than not. So try a brain, try a liver, try a tongue. But today, since it’s Valentine’s Day, grab a friend and try a heart. If preparing a pig’s heart at home, cook slowly until tender or serve medium-rare for an earthy flavor. (Other animals have tasty hearts, too.)

Find out more about nose-to-tail cooking in Fergus Henderson’s book, “The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating,” talk to your local butcher about offal, or seek out restaurants that serve lesser-known animal parts. Stop by the store on 86th and 2nd. We’ll be happy to elaborate in gory, delicious detail.