Eating Nose to Tail

Wishing everyone a great holiday!
Be back in the New Year.
Some of you may know that Ross and I run, an online record shop that specializes in drum & bass.  Through the shop we've been lucky enough to meet a lot of really neat people - one of which was the very polite, very talented UK-based dubstep producer Ramadanman.

One night over the summer we had the pleasure of having Ramadanman and a few local dubstep DJ's over for some late night tea.  We talked extensively about what constitutes a proper cup of tea, and throughout our chat it became apparent that Ramadanman knew his way around a kitchen.  It occurred to me much later that he also has a pretty killer tune called 'Offal.'
Recently I got back in touch with Ramadanman and was lucky enough to get a quick interview with him about offal, cooking and food in general.

ENT - I gather you enjoy cooking.

RAMADANMAN - I'm a big fan of cooking, especially traditional French.

ENT - Traditional French cuisine uses a fair bit of offal - I'm thinking of pâté specifically.  Are there any French dishes you cook frequently or specifically enjoy?

RAMADANMAN -  I do like pâté in fact, and I did get to try some foie gras at Christmas time in France - at a school meal of all places.  By French cookery I'm thinking more French techniques of cooking rather than particular dishes - although all the famous French classics are wicked.

ENT - Do you cook regularly, and are there any offal dishes that pop up in your kitchen?

RAMADANMAN - I cook quite often, mainly simple stuff such as pasta, but generally once a week cook something a bit more special. I've cooked some pork belly before, although I wouldn't really class that as offal. All about slow roasting it for a few hours.

ENT - How did you come up with 'Offal' as a title for one of your tunes?

RAMADANMAN - Think I called the tune that cause it was kinda murky and a bit dark! Then again I might just not have eaten decent offal.

ENT - It's neat that you describe the song as dark and murky like offal.  Is it purely that offal are generally organs, and that there's something a little sinister about eating those parts of the animal?

RAMADANMAN - I think innards and organs are generally quite sorta...well almost taboo in our society.  Maybe some people find it weird eating a part of an animal that had a particular function. Whereas if you're just eating a regular say steak, it was just a bit of flesh, rather than an animal's tongue, which did something specific. I think abbatoirs and butchers can be quite dark places - a lot of references to that in films and novels.
Image courtesy of

I suppose that depends on which side of the knife you're on.

Thanks again to Ramadanman for taking the time to give us his thoughts about offal, cooking and food in general.  We hope to hear more about his culinary exploits in the future.
This morning I was eating leftover sushi for breakfast, trying to think of what to do for my next post when I realized my next post was sitting on my plate.  A shrimp tail sticking out of a roll - with its shell still on.
I eat shrimp tails.  I always have.  I like the crunch and structure that they have.  Ross thinks I'm nuts - and he's not the first whose felt that way.

You can make stock with shrimp shells, but that's only if you've got a lot of them.  And when I was in Tokyo last year I had a tempura'd shrimp shell that was mind-opening, as well as whole shrimp shell on.  But other than that if you've got a lonely shell on the plate and don't want to be wasteful what's a girl to do?

My thinking is that they must be calcium rich, and I'm not dead yet so I'm pretty sure they aren't bad for me.  And although Ross is used to it (in fact he saves me the end piece because he knows I like it) when eating sushi with new friends I still get questioned about my tail-eating habits.

So my question is - does anyone else out there eat shrimp tails?  Or am I alone on this one?