28 May, 2012

Oscar Mayer Liver Cheese (Grail List)

My "Grail List" is a list of foods and/or culinary experiences which I'm endeavoring to try. For some time now, I've had Oscar Mayer Liver Cheese at the top of the list. Although this product may be very familiar to some of you, it is apparently unavailable in my part of the country. Whenever I've traveled, I've kept an eye open for it.

But now the wait is over, thanks to an anonymous reader who was kind enough to send a package of it to me.

Oscar Mayer Liver Cheese is for the most part a square liver loaf, made with pork livers, pork, and dehydrated onions. It's surrounded by a thin layer of lard, and there are bits of livery aspic clinging to it here and there.

I'm sure that more than a few of you have already started to shudder, if not at the mention of liver, at the layer of lard and the prospect of finding bits of liver jelly around the edges. But I must say that the most extraordinary thing about this lunchmeat is how ordinary it is.

I like liver of all kinds, and I like liverwurst. And that's basically what Oscar Mayer Liver Cheese is -  a special variety of liverwurst. It's a bit stronger-tasting than some, with just a hint of that peculiar bitterness inherent in liver, but the bitterness is smoothed out by a slight and vague sweetness (perhaps provided by the onion.) 

The lard border is absolutely bland by comparison, though it does have this gentle resistance to the teeth which was quite interesting, as it doesn't smear around or coat the mouth as might be expected. Some people peel it off before eating the liver cheese, either to eat separately or, more commonly, to throw away. Personally, I leave it be and eat it along with the rest (and please save it if you're planning a lecture about how bad lard is for my health. Tiny amounts eaten occasionally are not going to kill me or anyone else.)

So: overall a pleasant and tasty experience, though one I can recommend only to readers who already enjoy liverwurst. Oscar Mayer Liver Cheese isn't going to change the minds of the haters.

Special note: The same anonymous donor also sent along a Sweet Sue whole canned chicken which I plan to open and enjoy with the family later this week. Label instructions say to chill it before opening, so at the moment it's in the fridge. I promise to reveal it in all its glory a little later.


Scott Spolverino said...

This just begs to be pan-fried. Ring of lard around it? Livery goodness? A little butter and some heat and that'd make a nice accompaniment to eggs.

Bonnie Motley said...

that sounds delicious I'll have to try that

grannymim said...

As I am eating and enjoying my liver cheese sandwich, I wondered 'why that ring of white around it?' Before I just pulled it off and gave to the cat who always wanted more. But no cat now - so what to do with it - throw outside for the birds and squirrels? But why is it on there if just to be torn off? Do people leave it on and eat it? I tasted a small piece - actually not bad. Then I googled and found your blog. Lard? Doesn't really taste or feel like lard so I think I'll leave it on next time and maybe try it fried too... Enjoy your blog!

BigIron said...

As far as I know, Oscar Mayer has been making Liver Cheese since the 1950s. OM's Liver Cheese was one of my favorites since I was a kid in the late 1970s. I bought a package recently adn it tastes the same. I have always loved eating livers, because of the nutritional benefits. Kudos to Oscar Mayer for keeping product consistency!

Liver lover.

ralph said...

Thanks for the information. I have been eating liver cheese forever it seems and since I use the commissary I have found it at nearly every commissary I have visited. (I used to work for DeCA (Defense Commissary agency)) My great grand son says the lard wrapping tastes like 'cheese'! He was wondering why I was throwing it away. No more! I love it with beef bologna and velveeta cheese on a sandwich. Oh yes, with a cold glass of lemonade.

Gary said...

I used to work for a meat packing company in my home town when I was younger. A sheet of pork fat the length of the unsliced loaf was laid into the pan and then the liver mixture was packed inside after which the fat was closed together on top. If you look closely you should be able to find the seam where the fat joins. It is not lard. It has been many years since I worked there,but if I remember correctly,they put the loaf pans into a plastic and boil them which makes all that "livery" goodness cook into the fat. Yum yum!

Jason Cardenas said...

Ritz +
Creamcheese +
Liver cheese +
Chopped green onions =
My favorite way to enjoy liver cheese =]

dewoneb said...

I lik liver cheese it doesn't taste dat bad I only eat it wen I'm n tha mood for it dat may b 6 months from now wen I eat it again!

Kybaby66 said...

Grew up on liver cheese, Dixie loaf and of course Bologna.. The best way is a warm summer, fresh tomato, on white bread with mayo or miracle whip.. Yummy! Thanks for the cool story!
(Note: I personally took off the "fat" other members of my family like it on)

the5quirmingcoil said...

...on fresh white bread with two or three slices of very ripe acidic tomato, Duke's mayo,salt n pepper and a dab or 2 of tobasco... The only "sandwich" I enjoy more is swap out liver cheese for fried spam and add a fried egg!

Unknown said...

I love liver cheese

nicole duncan said...

Have been eating liver cheese for 3 years, discovered it at schnucks in washington mo

Lily said...

I googled liver cheese to find out when it was discontinued as I haven't seen it in ages. Glad to know that it's still around, even if it's not in my part of the country (California).