I too was revolted by the name "head cheese," and winced at the sight of gelatin-encased chunks of pig head. But the kind-hearted folks at Mueller's Deli took me under their wing and put together a sandwich that let me down gently. Rye bread, spicy brown mustard and extremely thin slices of head cheese came together to form a very simple but shockingly not bad sandwich. Head cheese basically just tastes like, well, ham. And with some mustard and rye thrown into the mix, you wouldn't even notice that you're eating what amounts to a pig's face. Note: Occasionally, a fleck of aspic separated from the rest of the sandwich and landed squarely on my tongue, which was not really all that pleasurable on first experience. On the whole, head cheese may be an acquired taste, so long as you're prepared to get the occasional shard of gelatin or crunchy bit of ear in your sandwich. I probably won't be clamoring for the stuff anytime soon, so long as I can afford roast beef. But who knows what the future holds. At least I made grandma proud.
J.M. Giordano, Photo for The Baltimore Sun
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