There’s a lot of weird food that is inexplicably beloved around the world. Spam is huge in Hawaii for reasons that have to be purely nostalgic, because there is no other explanation for canned slaughterhouse sweepings to be a thing. It’s basically a cubic hotdog.
Likewise, Scrapple has a place in the hearts of millions of east coasters despite it also just being repurposed meat scraps. All you have to do is toss alternate layers of toes and taint into a boiling pot and suddenly you have a classic regional dish, apparently.
The generous explanation here is that there’s no such thing as bad meat. I very much buy that, actually.
That would certainly explain Jellied Moose Nose, a delicacy of northern Canada and Alaska that, you guessed it, is comprised of leftover thin strips of dark meats from the snout and upper jawbone of a moose. It’s some real Andrew Zimmern stuff and also a staple in every extremely northern cookbook.
According to Atlas Obscura, Jellied Moose Nose is similar to European head cheese. White meat from the bulb of the nose and dark meat from the upper jaw bone of the moose and the jowls are cut off, cooked, and combined into a large kettle. (You can add onion and garlic clove if you feel so inclined.) The different kinds of meat are doused with cold water broth, put in a loaf pan, and refrigerated (or just buried in the snow, maybe). Sometimes pickling spice is used as well. After everything is solidified the Jellied Moose Nose is sliced like bread and served.
Would I eat Jellied Moose Nose? Yes, of course. I’ve eaten kangaroo, alligator, and Long John Silvers. I’d eat pretty much anything that wasn’t a potential pet, or objectively adorable, like a seal. I don’t care if it’s a normal dish to Native Canadians and Alaskans, I’m not participating in the murder of a sea puppy.
Look at that. That’s un-eatable.
Then again, pigs are kind of adorable too and I eat bacon, pork, and ham so often that me one day having to make a somber visit to the cardiologist is as certain as the Golden State Warriors winning another NBA championship. Okay fine, I’d eat a seal. I’m not proud of it but I would bite into the fatty flesh of one of those adorable little bastards.
As far as weird foods go, Jellied Moose Nose isn’t too weird once you think about it, but it definitely requires a double-take and some mental digestion.
If you’re wondering where you can buy Jellied Moose Nose the answer is nowhere, really. You might be able to find it at Native Canadian and Alaskan potluck dinners but otherwise you’ll have to make it yourself.
Originally published July 10th, 2018