Students at St. Paul have been learning about the physiology of birds by dissecting ducks brought in by a 9th grade hunter. A strange organ was found that was muscular and contained stones…. What was it?Answer: A GIZZARD
The gizzard is an organ found in the digestive tract of many animals, including birds, reptiles, earthworms, and some fish. It’s a specialized stomach with thick muscular walls and containing previously eaten stones or grit that are used for grinding up food. The stones act as “teeth” in the gizzard, breaking down hard food like seeds, and making digestion more efficient. The stones are worn down and can be passed or regurgitated when they no longer good for grinding.
The gizzards of turkeys, chickens and ducks are also popular for cooking throughout the world! Grilled chicken gizzards are sold as street food throughout Southeast Asia. Stewed gizzards are eaten as a snack in Portugal. In the Southern United States, the gizzard is usually fried, or included in a New Oreleans gumbo. And, the French eat duck gizzards in a salad. In parts of Africa, the gizzard is highly prized, and set-aside for the oldest male at the table.
How would YOU eat gizzards?