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.