25 Comments

  1. Sweetbreads. Same thing with a fancier name?

    Blood pudding. Blood sausage. Beef tongue. Mountain oysters. Kidneys. Calf’s liver. Liver sausage.

    (Yes, I know that zombies only eat brains [why?], but the program is pretty bloody, making all these foods acceptable, too. IMHO. Eaten them all but Mountain oysters.)

  2. Shouldn’t he be asking “what other program goes with meat chili” and not “what other food goes with the Walking Dead”?

  3. Sweetbreads are widely believed to be brains? I’ve never heard than. I thought sweetbreads were widely believed to be pancreases. Never heard of anyone thinking they were brains.

  4. The food they want is that legendary dish from some foreign country or other that involves a live monkey. That’s all I need to say for you to remember hearing about it somewhere.

  5. There are times that I am very glad that I read CIDU just after breakfast, and not right before dinner. Yuck.

  6. “Never heard of anyone thinking they were brains.”

    Make that two. I always thought they were brains. Apparently, it’s a fairly common misconception according to culinarylore.com. “Another popular belief is that sweetbreads are the brains of calves. This too, is incorrect.”

    Thanks, CIDU. Another interesting fact to impress my dinner guests with to add to my list of things I’ve learned here.

  7. There was a Bill Cosby skit about foods he won’t eat. It mentions chitlins which he says “I know what they are; that’s the lower track”. And he mentions brains “I don’t want to eat anything somethings been thinking with”. And he mentions sweetbreads. But weirdly in the skit he asks what they are and the person whispers as though its something that won’t get by the censors. That made me briefly think they were testicles. Then I heard they were the pancreas. But I didn’t know what a pancreas was so I assumed a pancreas had something to do with reproduction.

    But that was when I was a teenager and before I had ever eaten them. Um…. so have all the people who think they are brains never eaten them? In no way do they resemble brains. They are clearly an internal organ like liver or kidneys. (Only much better than either…. Mmm, I’m craving them right now.)

    Maybe Bill Cosby had no idea what they were.

  8. …. okay, apparently people think they are testicles which would explain the Cosby skit.

    I had never heard that either.

  9. “Um…. so have all the people who think they are brains never eaten them?”

    I haven’t. However, there are a lot of things I haven’t eaten or even seen which I think I know about…prairie oysters, escargot, haggis, even chitlins.

    Crossed wires on the sweetbread somewhere, I guess. Seems like it happens a lot though. Anyone know why?

  10. Sweetbread is such a non-descript euphamism that it could stand for any sort of disgusting piece of anatomy that one would normally not want to think about eating. As a kid, I remember eating (but not really enjoying) liver. I once tried blood sausage here, that’s a mistake that I am not going to repeat. After those experiences, I am simply not interested in trying any of the other kinds of offal. P.S. I’ve seen packages of chicken hearts in grocery stores, I have no idea what anybody would do with them. Dog food?

  11. Maybe some of the problem with the misleading suggestion of “sweetbreads” is from the almost contrary case of “sweetmeats”. Though they at least are sweet, albeit not meat.

  12. Guys, is it just me, or is this couple longing for a food that doesn’t remind them of what’s on-screen. Why all the suggestions of sweetbreads and offal and brains?

  13. ” Another interesting fact to impress my dinner guests with”

    . . . and what will you be serving for dinner? Right about now, macaroni and cheese sounds good; no risk of weird things in there.

  14. She wants to eat that food and change programs. He wants to watch that program and change food.

  15. My mother was raised on a farm, and they ate all of the cow. My grandfather was particularly fond of brains and eggs.

    Emmy is eating pork brains in that. I think most people don’t eat calf or other cow brains due to “mad cow” concerns. As she mentions, brains are a niche favorite (fried on, a sandwich) at some bars in St. Louis. I remember a story about them switching from calf to pork brains.

  16. I’ve had almost nothing on Andrea’s list at the top. Only calf liver, and its flavor was way too strong for me. But I HAVE had Mountain Oysters, which are bull testicles sliced thin, battered and deep fried. And they are delicious, but very rich. Just a few is all you really need. And Kilby, chicken hearts are just about the only organ meat I really like. They’re way better than gizzards or livers. But again, can’t imagine eating a whole bunch of them at one sitting.

  17. One year while we were dating, but before we were married it was my birthday and Robert had other plans for some reason as he thought I wanted to be with my family for my birthday. My family, presuming I would be with him on my birthday, made other plans. I had to go to Manhattan to a client that day and decided as long as there were no plans I would stop at a French restaurant in same that we used to go to for dinner.

    I looked at the menu and knowing that veau was veal in French, I ordered that. Pointing at the menu “I’ll have the veal please.” A very smart waitress when I pointed and said that I was I sure that I wanted this dish – ris de veau as it was sweetbreads. I thanked her and said no and picked a different dish. Boy, am I glad that she was smart enough to figure out that I wasn’t.

    Of course when I told the story both family and Robert said “why didn’t you say that you would be alone?’ Robert is still amazed that I would go out to dinner alone – he wouldn’t.

  18. @ DanV – I would have thought that the heart muscle tissue would be very tough. What’s the best way to prepare them?
    P.S. A German cooking show once set a challenge of a combination of cow’s udder with bull testicles. I don’t remember what the solution was, but the chef involved was fairly clever, and tried a number of different temperatures and methods to figure out how the (surprisingly tough) udder tissue could be turned into an edible dish.

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