Unique Indiana Sandwich Considered One of the Most Loathed Foods in America
Indiana isn't really considered a culinary destination for foodies. I'm not saying we don't have great restaurants across the state cooking up imaginative and delicious food, because we do, but our cuisines aren't typically something people travel from all over the country to eat. That could be due to one dish in particular which is still served here in southern Indiana and was named one of the most loathed in the country in a recent survey.
The Most Loathed Foods in America
The website, FeastGood, which is run by "a team of athletes, nutrition coaches, and registered dieticians" providing "simple-to-understand methods to maximize fitness," recently surveyed 3,000 dieters across America to determine which, let's say, less-than-healthy-dishes in each state they find the hardest to resist. The results were then ranked one through 50 with one being the hardest and 50 being the least difficult.
After the calories were counted and the grease settled, the infamous Fried Brain Sandwich found itself at number 44 on the list.
What is a Fried Brain Sandwich?
The Fried Brain Sandwich was first introduced in the late 1800s / early 1900s in the meat packing plants of East St. Louis, Illinois, according to Atlas Obscura when it was discovered to be a cheap sandwich filling. Originally made from cow brains, they were battered and deep-fried in cast iron skillets. After the discovery of Mad Cow Disease in the late 1980s, the recipe replaced cow brains with pig brains.
As you can imagine, the sandwich has its fair share of those who are disgusted by the concept. However, here in southern Indiana, there is an equal amount who are fans, myself included. I don't eat them often, maybe once or twice a year, but when I do, I head to the one place in Evansville still frying them up on a daily basis, The Hilltop Inn on the city's west side.
A few years ago when I working on our sister station, KISS 106, a coworker and I went to The Hilltop to find out how they were made.
Apologies for the video quality. The Hilltop is a tavern that's been around since the late 1800s, and the lighting wasn't ideal where we sitting.
The list from FeastGood isn't the first time the Brain Sandwich has been recognized as one of the more "unique" eats in the country. Back in 2008, celebrity chef and former Food Network star, Alton Brown stopped by The Hilltop to try the sandwich for himself as part of his cross-country culinary road trip show, Feasting on Asphalt.
While The Hilltop is the only place around that I'm aware of where brain sandwiches are on the menu year-round, there is one other spot you can get them. The Temple Patrol Booth at the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival during the first full week of October.
I'll assume you're familiar with the saying, "Don't knock it until you try it," and I think that applies to the Brain Sandwich. Is it healthy? Absolutely not. But, I think it tastes good, especially with a little mustard on it. I'm not saying you'll think the same thing if you can bring yourself to try it, but I do think it's at least worth trying if you can get past what it is.