The edible non–muscular parts of slaughtered animals. The name comes from ‘off–fall’, that which falls off the butchered carcass. Much prized in French, Italian and many Asian cuisines, and feared by others, North American and Australian included. Types are usually divided into red offal and white offal. Red offal includes heart, tongue, lungs, spleen and kidneys. White offal includes the brains, teats, marrow, testicles, feet, head, tripe, caul and sweetbreads. Most offal is rich in iron, particularly kidneys and liver. It’s also rich in vitamin A and folic acid. When buying offal, ensure it is very fresh as it will keep only 1 to 2 days in the fridge. Offal can be frozen but this adversely affects the flavour, texture and appearance. Some offal, such as heart and tongue, needs long, slow cooking to produce the best results, whereas others such as liver, kidneys and brains should be cooked quickly.
Also known as — variety meats