I am suddenly vividly recalling my horror when first I encountered this frightening practice in "Farmer Boy" by Laura Ingalls Wilder. They boiled the head (of a pig??) collected everything that "came off" and formed it into a loaf.
The "congealing" process which is so disgusting in the process of making head cheese comes from, I believe, its effect on the collagen found in the animals head. To be perfectly honest any food made with gelatin, which is similarly extracted from animal skin, bones, and connective tissue, ought to be as off-putting. But, somehow Bill Cosby makes everything okay.
My overpowering love for eggs and cheese (as well as the lovely smell of my leather jacket) is the only thing protecting me from a vegan lifestyle.
Actually, skipvia, I'm probably one of those freaks who wouldn't mind knowing a little more about it--if only to be more fun at parties--but the link to the Wiki article says "nobody's added Queijo de Porco... Why don't you?"
Well... why don't you? ;)
Maybe this was the article you were talking about...?
I think reesetee and c_b are right. That would explain why the term "head cheese" translates so literally among various languages. Besides French (fromage de tête), there's "queso de cabeza," "queso de chancho," and queso de puerco" (Spanish), "hoofdkaas" (Dutch), and "Queijo de Porco" (Portuguese). This Wikipedia article tells you more than you probably really want to know about the substance.
Easy, uselessness. It is intentional misdirection. Think about it. Why would you eat something called "bits of meat from the head of a cow or pig, cooked in gelatin and served as a luncheon meat" when you can have "head cheese"?
Seriously, though--I think one of the original meanings of "cheese" referred more to the process of making the product rather than its specific contents. There was fruit cheese, nut cheese, etc. Now we use the word to refer almost exclusively to tasty versions of congealed dairy products.
Wait, I thought cheese was made of milk? Come to think of it, I have no idea what cheese is, except for the decidedly non-specific "dairy." Maybe that should concern me. But I eat the stuff every day, and rather like it.
Bits of meat from the head of a cow or pig, cooked in gelatin and served as a luncheon meat. Known in the South as souse. The French name--fromage de tête--sounds almost appetizing, unless you speak French.