*** stay tuned for upcoming opportunities to eat and learn.
"The Musculoskeletal System" dinner featured a tour through the body's structural elements - the rebar of bone that keeps us upright, the fibrous collagen of ligaments and tendons that hold us together, and the tasty muscles that make us move - all of which make for delicious eats. The menu for this event included slow-poached tendon in broth and a bone broth aspic served with soft-boiled egg. To demonstrate two ways of cooking muscles, participants tasted skirt steak (a cut of meat from an animal's diaphragm) grilled quickly over high, dry heat, and a braised neck cooked with chioggia beets, cooked for hours with low, moist heat. The best way to prepare different cuts depends on how much collagenous connective tissue they contain. The event also featured a display of bone arrowheads, knife, awls and needles, some hafted to handles with deer tendon in prehistoric fashion. These tools demonstrated that the musculoskeletal systems of animals was humanity's original hardware store. Philadelphia Free Public Library , Philadelphia, PA, 1/22/19.
"The Digestive System" dinner was a journey down the alimentary canal beginning in the mouth where attendees learned about the actions of tongue, teeth and saliva to kick off the digestion process. The menu included seared wine-braised tongue served with glazed beets. The journey continued down the esophagus to the stomach, intestines and liver, served with Moroccan stewed tripe and liver sausage kokorec (sausage wrapped with intestines). Dessert included a local cheese, with a discussion of the enzyme rennet from animal stomachs. Philadelphia Free Public Library , Philadelphia, PA, 11/20/19.
"The Circulatory System" dinner featured blood, an explanation of how it flows to every nook and cranny of our bodies to keep the lights on, along with a taste of blood sausage served with smashed potatoes. Roasted bone marrow and herb salad was served with a discussion of the billions of blood cells that pour from our bone marrow into the bloodstream every day of our lives. The event featured a demonstration of butchering a cow heart, along with an anatomical explanation of coronary arteries and heart chambers. The menu included three species of heart cooked in three different ways. While Jon pointed out valves and coronary arteries, Ari demonstrated how to butcher a beef heart. Blood meringues was served for dessert. Philadelphia Free Public Library , Philadelphia, PA, 10/9/18.