Variety meats include beef, pork, lamb, and poultry liver, kidneys, sweetbreads (thymus gland), brains, heart, tongue, tripe, feet, and tail. Generally variety meats from young animals are milder and more tender than those from older animals.
Liver and heart are available frozen as well as fresh.
Tongue is available fresh, pickled, corned, and smoked.
Sweetbreads consist of two lobes—the throat lobe and the heart lobe. The heart lobe has a more delicate taste and texture.
Tripe, the lining of a cows’ stomach, comes in three kinds: honeycomb, pocket, and plain or smooth tripe. Honeycomb is considered the most tender.
Pigs feet, or trotters, are available fresh, pickled, and smoked.