If the title of this article makes you want to turn around and run the other way, just calm down. Okay, okay, I know that "livermush" might not be the most appetizing of names, but believe me when I say that it is delicious. I grew up on the stuff; and, living in Boston now, I miss it quite a lot.
Livermush--and that's pronounced "mush" [ mʌːʃ ] as in 'rush' not "mush" [ mɤːʃ ] as in 'push'--is a delicacy made in the region of North Carolina where I was born and raised. Made of pork liver--and other pork products--spices, and cornmeal, it is cooked together and molded into brick-shaped loaves.
(I just found this on YouTube, and I think this young lady explains it quite well--even though I don't think they really put the tail or the appendix in livermush!)
Basically, it's pâté; but since we Southerners fry everything, when it's served to you, it won't look like the schmanzy-pantsy pâté one might spread on a little piece of pain d'épice. Nosiree! What you'll get is a 3"x5"x0.5" piece of dark and crispy heaven--dark and crispy, that is, on the outside; smooth and delicate on the inside. Smack that sucker on a fresh biscuit, and you're good to go. (I also put mayonnaise, but others are partial to mustard--and apparently grape jelly?! ...cf. video below)
While my absolute favorite is a spicy livermush homemade in Harmony, NC, the city of Shelby, NC probably has the most commercial livermush producers in the state (I don't have the figures in front of me, but I'm pretty sure that's the case), and the Livermush Festival is held there every year. Marion, NC also produces a brand I quite like; but, Neese's out of Greensboro makes the crème de la crème in my opinion. Delivered fresh in their fun little green trucks, the most popular livermush is actually called "Liver Pudding." (I don't know whether you think that name is any better...) Neese's Liver Pudding is somewhat smoother than your standard livermush--I think due to a smaller amount of cornmeal.
Whether you eat yours with mayonnaise, mustard--or grape jelly (?!), the next time you're in North Carolina, stop by your local greasy spoon and order the livermush. You'll be glad you did--even if it was just for the adventure of it!
Photos courtesy of Google Images.