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Sweetbreads - what to expect?

So - I have been wanting to try sweetbreads (yep, made it past 50 and still haven't had them!) - we are going to a fancy-pants restaurant next week that serves them and I am contemplating ordering, but I honestly don't know what I am even looking for in terms of taste and texture. How does one know a good sweetbread? What do they taste like, what is their texture, and should I go with braised duck ravioli instead :-) ???

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

asked almost 2 years ago
6 answers 844 views
84baef1b 1614 4c3d a895 e859c9d40bd1  chris in oslo
Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added almost 2 years ago

I love sweetbreads and have a hard time passing them up whenever I see them on a menu. You should give them a try before you hit 60 or 70! Duck ravioli will always be there.

That said, they're pretty hard to describe--mild and amorphous (as in having no strings). Looking for help with decscriptive sweetbread vocabulary, I found this article in Serious Eats. It's a pretty good decription http://www.seriouseats...

D4bb8500 a3be 4577 b992 6f896286c8e2  spoon
added almost 2 years ago

I agree that sweetbreads are delicious and well worth taking a risk on to find out if you like them or not. I've never had them as a main course before, generally as an appetizer or small plate, and I have tried both from sheep and veal and both are equally delicious. I personally like it when they are pan-fried a bit to crisp up the outside but leaving the inside sort of soft and delicate. I also think they are worth the try if you see them in a quality restaurant, because like foie gras, it's not something you'll see me tackling in my own kitchen!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 2 years ago

You're taking the right approach-certain items should only be eaten at "fancy pants" restaurants that understand, appreciate and have much experience in them. Sweetbreads are one. They are delicious, but I will only eat them at a fine restaurant (brains is another for me). Mild in flavor, pillowy little cushions of love. There are actually a couple of different organs labeled "sweetbreads", but a high end restaurant will utilize the best cut, prepared properly. Go for it!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Maedl

Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added almost 2 years ago

Yes, do try them. It has been years since I had sweetbreads, but I remember them as delicate tasting, crisp on the exterior with a soft interior. They were served as part of a multi-course menu and I was a bit reluctant, but decided I really liked them. Unlike tripe. I tried that this past fall and will be quite happy if I never find another piece of it on my plate again.

21cce3cd 8e22 4227 97f9 2962d7d83240  photo squirrel
added almost 2 years ago

Amazingly versatile, sweetbreads are SOMEwhat similar to white meat chicken or scallops in Texture. It just came to me that they taste a little like white meat chicken tinged with oyster. But maybe you will have them and decide i'm crazy! Inside, they should be creamy, not spongey or chewy. Anyway, alot more work than duck for the chef- so go for it and see how talented is the kitchen there! If you like them and you ever think of taking a vacation to Montreal&Quebec, they are VERY popular there, and
you wil find them prepared in many different ways.
p.s. BTW, i am not an offal eater; brains and chittlins are not for me; but i love the mild intriguing sweetbreads!

609271d6 306e 4b3e 8479 9d404fb84e73  moi 1
QueenSashy

QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

GO for it!