Word of Mouth: Souse

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Souse [sows] n. Variety of and term for head cheese in the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect.

Souse is a variety of head cheese, usually specific to the Pennsylvania Dutch. They make their head cheese from the pickled meat of often otherwise unused animal parts (usually pork). These often include the feet, head, tongue, and heart.

The word itself probably comes from the Germanic souce, or pickling juice, which is related to sulza, or brine.

Do you eat head cheese? We are always in favor of treating meat with respect, and this includes using the not-as-fashionable parts of the animal. Here's a recipe, just in case you are interested in making your own.

(Image credit: Karl Ehmer Deli)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.