Chicken gizzardsWhy do people eat gizzards? They don’t have to, you know. We have food. Gizzards aren’t food. A gizzard is, according to Wikipedia,  “an organ found in the digestive tract of some animals, including archosaurs (dinosaurs, birds, crocodiles and alligators), earthworms, some gastropods and some fish. This specialized stomach constructed of thick, muscular walls is used for grinding up food; often rocks are instrumental in this process.”

So, when you eat a gizzard, you’re actually eating nature’s trash compactor. Why would you eat a trash compactor? I can’t answer that question either, but apparently, lots of people in Michigan like to eat them. Pottersville, MI is the home to the annual Gizzard Fest and Joe’s Gizzard Shack. According to organizers, over 1500 pounds of gizzards are consumed during the event. The Gizzard Fest includes such festive events as:

  1. The Alan Kazam Magic Show.
  2. Gizzard Idol- An event I can only imagine combines the singing quality of American Idol with the culinary orgy that is a gizzard based food festival.
  3. A Whiffle Ball tournament.
  4. A fashion show. (Are gizzards used to make the clothing?)
  5. A parade. (How does one make a gizzard out of tissue paper and flowers?)

Southerners eat lots of gizzards too. I’m not sure if Alabama gizzards taste differently than Michigan gizzards, but I suspect they do. I’m not sure I want to find out though. I’m still wrestling with why anybody would eat them. Even though I don’t want to consume gizzards, I would like to attend Gizzard Fest. I’m sure the Gizzard Queen on her gizzard float is a sight to behold.

Carry on, Citizens!

by Jeff

Jeff Stanger is an author and fundraising consultant as well as the answer to several obscure trivia questions. He writes for food and occasionally for spite. Google+

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