Sunday, June 27, 2010

#29 New Melle Fest's World Famous Gizzards - June 26, 2010

#29 New Melle Fest's World Famous Gizzards - New Melle, MO - June 26, 2010

Why would you have a burger and fries, when you can have a burger and gizzards. That's right, gizzards. I went to this festival primarily because its website claimed that these gizzards were world famous. They were a little hard to bite through and a little chewy, but they tasted like a dark meat chicken nugget. The breading may have been a little over seasoned, but maybe it needed to be so I wouldn't taste the actual meat. Either way, they were actually tasty. Until I saw this...

I was walking by the kitchen when I saw three guys telling stories and laughing while huddled around a tub. My curiosity won, and I came across these guys as they were cleaning today's supply of gizzards. (To be honest I was shocked the gizzards weren't some frozen pre-made variety) They weren't really sure as to why these gizzards were world famous, but they figured it had to do with the love they put in them. It is a festival law that anything fried is good. Yet, after seeing this, I wasn't so sure I enjoyed my gizzards as much as I had previously thought.

Ahh...The classic that started it all. There is nothing more pure festival than the funnel cake. Some might say the corn dog or caramel apple, and they would be wrong. There really wasn't much more going on at this festival food-wise, so I went for this classic beauty. Come to think of it...there wasn't much going on at all.

Mind you that this picture was taken at 1:00 pm. Normally, 1 PM is the peak time for a festival. There should be silly contests, people, food galore, people, doings a transpiring, and flipping people. But not here. It was kind of eerie, and I hadn't come across this before. I asked around, and apparently it was a late night at this festival the previous night, and people would be back to see that night's band Butchwax and the Hollywoods.

Besides a washer tournament, the Antique Tractor Pull was the big draw. Now I know that some of you may not be familiar with a tractor pull, and neither was I before last year's Salisbury Festival. The concept is simple. You attach a weight to a tractor and see how far you can pull it. There is one catch. The weight is actually on this sled that slides forward as the ride goes on. Eventually the weight creates so much downward force that nearly any tractor would be stuck like a mule in the mud. Pictured here is the infamous "Steel Justice" weight sled.

It just wouldn't be a Tractor Pull without an old school PA announcer telling you that a tractor is pulling a weight. Somehow he managed to make that a lot more exciting. I had the pleasure of speaking to him for a while, and noticed his button on his hat. If you can't read it it says, "Friends don't let friends drive green". Folks, this is a Massey man through and through and for some reason he dislikes John Deere.

Festival Trinket of the Week: A rubber chicken key ring. Like I said, there wasn't a whole lot going on. There was a fairly empty carnival area, and all the sad carnie faces looked dejected. The carnies were so bored, they didn't even heckle me as I walked by. As a fan of the Simpsons, I would advise you to not be a Rube and get on the trolley with this carnie episode. Or, if you want to learn how to beat those zany carnie games then this video is for you.

Video of the Week: I figure you might as well take a gander at an actual tractor pull. It's maybe not as exciting as you would think. It's more of a thinking man's competition, as it really is all physics. The experienced tractor puller knows that the pull is completely reliant on initial torque. Everyone knows Torque=ForcexDistance.

I will admit, I didn't really know what a gizzard was before attending this festival. If I had known it was actually a special stomach that contained gravel so a chicken can break down food without teeth, I may not have eaten it. If you want to know even more about gizzards then you can go to this site. I had no idea that gizzards were so popular. In fact, there are whole machine companies dedicated to gizzards and even a machine that could have replaced the three guys I saw earlier. Although, the love that made these "World Famous" would be lost. Here is the spot if you want some new ideas for gizzard recipes, or if you are a purist here is how to make classic fried gizzards. If you want a restaurant dedicated to all things gizzard, then get to Joe's Gizzard City in Potterville, MI.

Now maybe eating gizzards isn't for you, and I'm not sure I would again in the future, but there are plenty of other uses. Did you know gizzards were an ancient Chinese medicine for common human afflictions, and possibly even be beneficial to your cat's diet? Or that they make an excellent catfish bait, although you should use a treble hook to keep them on. Or maybe you would just like to create a race of mutant chickens that have teeth and don't need a stinking gizzard.

The ride home had me thinking about the gizzard. It essentially is Mother Nature's example of taking lemons and making lemonade. The gizzard provides the chicken the nutrients it needs by breaking down hard things that it could not do on its own. If only there was a gizzard for my everyday life. Something that could help break down the day's stresses, and make them something beneficial. These festivals have been fairly therapeutic so far for me, and I hope this site brings you a very brief respite from your stresses as well. Maybe this site is a gizzard? I was a philosophy major in school, and tend to get carried away at times. Too far? Ok here are some Gus Gizzard Glasses for your next party.

The silliness will continue, and hopefully with a shorter name (Please vote for a site on the left side or suggest one in the comments). Have a Good 4th of July!


  1. So you actually ate the gizzards, eh? All in the name of the blog. I was surprised the tractor pull was so slow. I would have thought it would be more action packed.

    No wonder there were so few people there? The empty picnic bench setting was weird indeed!


    just an idea.

  3. Yes Imron I ate the gizzards, which were surprisingly better than expected. Kind of like a dark meat chicken nugget but chewier. An empty festival is definitely creepy. Anonymous, thank you for the suggestion! To be honest, I'm not as technically savvy as I maybe should be. I'm not sure I'm ready to start blogging by phone, although some would say I've been phoning it in. I will try it some time though, thanks!

  4. great article in the PD. clever adventure and site!