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Are Canned Pork Brains Still Sold In The US?

rose pork brains in can
rose pork brains in can - Boone Brands

From household staples like bread and cheese to decidedly weirder options like smoked rattlesnake, even the most unusual things can (and will) come in a tin. The idea of spooning pork brains out of a can and gearing up to eat them is probably up there in terms of provoking a visceral reaction, though.

We don't tend to enter a store with the expectation of picking up a tin of brains, so the very idea of a supermarket in the U.S. selling them might seem strange. Based on forum activity way back in 2001, one particular brand of pork brains, namely Rose's pork brains in milk gravy, was common enough to be described by one user as "infamous." More recently, that infamy has faded into obscurity, with one Redditor being so shocked at the sight of them that they needed to share their find with other users. This obscurity is likely because Rose's is considered to be the only brand left that sells canned pork brains in the U.S., with others like Kelly's going out of business in 2003. It does confirm, however, that you can indeed pop to the shops and exit with a can of brains if you live in the right place.

Read more: US Foods You Surprisingly Can't Find In Canada

What Happened To Canned Pork Brains?

Fried pork brain on plate
Fried pork brain on plate - denio109/Shutterstock

It's difficult to pin the decline of pork brains on just one thing, but a particularly well-known factory scandal may have something to do with it. In 2007, workers at an Austin-based pork processing plant began experiencing symptoms including general fatigue and pain. When it was found that each of these workers were stationed at or near the hog brain liquefier, it was confirmed that the act of inhaling the mist during this process induced the workers' symptoms.

Doctors at the 2008 American Academy of Neurology convention stated that there was "no indication that this is a food-borne illness." Regardless, the damage was done (via Slate). In what Alexandra Griogrieva described as "a combination of prudish offal disgust, overly disturbing graphic horror images, and health scares," people turned their noses thoroughly away from pork brains.

Despite this, Rose's pork brains have not been removed from supermarket shelves. At some point between 2010 and 2015, Boone Brands quietly acquired several canned goods distributors, including Rose. Manufactured in Sanford, North Carolina, you can still find canned pork brains in Food Lion, Ira Higdon, and other stores across the state and beyond. If you're living in more northern parts of the country and still want to give this puzzling product a shot, you can get cans delivered by Amazon or Walmart.

Read the original article on Mashed.