The Gore You Never Asked For, Pt. 1

The Gore You Never Asked For: The Scary Sh*t We Do in Real Life, Pt. 1Turducken


L. Marie Wood

I’m going to start this series by saying don’t blame us! Horror authors didn’t make this stuff up. The gore you never asked for is all about you and the stuff you do every day without batting an eye.

This first installment will be on the much-practiced cooking method of engastration, where you literally stuff the carcass of one animal into another and cook them both to be consumed together. It’s a process that goes as far back as the Middle Ages and is one that likely started with the lovely cockentrice, which combines a pig and a fattened male chicken called a Capon in the most, um… I’ll say inventive ways (how, you ask? Well, here goes it – get ready… the pig’s head is sewn onto the body of the chicken… yes… ON. That visual is the stuff of nightmares… you’re welcome). The practice of engastration was meant to reflect harvest, bounty, even wealth, because nothing says you’re flush like a mutant beast on celebratory table waiting to be carved and, ahem, consumed. Makes you wonder why fine dining often comes up in relation to wealth. Consider Hannibal Lecter’s proclivity for fine foods when he wasn’t satisfying his desire for human flesh…but I digress—that is a topic for another day.

One product in particular takes center stage here today: Turducken. A chicken inside a duck inside a turkey. It’s nesting, that’s all… the kind that requires you to break breastbones, rip off wings, yank out backbones—no spatchcocking here (think butterflying shrimp); you have to debone each bird entirely. And then, well, then you stuff them in, cramming first the chicken inside the duck and then the duck inside the turkey, their bodies made formless and pliable sans construct, moldable to whatever form you choose, Dr. Frankenstein.

If that doesn’t sound like an extreme horror movie or book premise, I don’t know what does! Oh, and Bon Appetit!