Why this Turkish man is selling organs

Cigerci Selling Liver And Lungs for Cats Meat

Have you heard of a ciğerci? The picture above depicts a 1790 illustration of a ciğerci carrying his wares: organs. Ciğerci is the Turkish word for “a seller of livers and lungs.” And it’s still relevant today.

In the picture, the ciğerci is sellings cats meat—food for cats to eat. It’s understandable that less desirable meats like liver and lungs would be given to cats. It also explains why there’s a uniquely Turkish word for the trade, since it was an easy way for poorer merchants to make cash off less pricey organs.

Modern ciğerci aren’t consigned to sell organic Purina, however. Today, many Turkish eateries are called ciğerci because they serve fried liver. The unique recipe features deep-fried pieces of liver served with pepper. The smell isn’t as distinct as in unfried liver, and sometimes it’s even served with breakfast. The liver can be combined with lungs as well, though the latter is more rare.

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